A conjectural restoration of the throne of Apollo at Amyklai, by Quatremère de Quincy (plate VII) View larger
A conjectural restoration of the throne of Apollo at Amyklai, by Quatremère de Quincy (plate VII)
  • A conjectural restoration of the throne of Apollo at Amyklai, by Quatremère de Quincy (plate VII)
  • Bound copy by Philipp Selenka (1803-1850) of Wiesbaden, with his engraved ticket
Quatremère de Quincy (Antoine-Chrysostôme), 1755-1849

Le Jupiter Olympien, ou l’art de la sculpture antique considéré sous un nouveau point de vue; ouvrage qui comprend un essai sur le gout de la sculpture polychrome, l’analyse explicative de la toreutique, et l’histoire de la statuaire en or et ivoire chez les Grecs et les Romains, avec la restitution des principaux monuments de cet art et la démonstration pratique ou le renouvellement de ses procédés mécaniques

Paris, Chez Du Bure Frères (De l’Imprimerie de Firmin Didot), 1815
First edition (second issue) of the author’s speculations about the role of colour in Greek art and architecture, presented as reconstructions of about ten lost sculptures of Greek Antiquity, including the Chest of Kypselos (pls. III-IV), the Athena Parthenos (pls. VIII-X), the chryselephantine Zeus at Olympia (pls. XI-XVII), and a table for the Olympic Games, made of gold and ivory (pl. XXIV). The work fed a controversy concerning polychromy and the iconography of Greek sculpture.
Subjects
Archaeology, Greek & Roman
Sculpture, Greco-Roman
Authors/Creators
Quatremère de Quincy, Antoine-Chrysostôme, 1755-1849
Printers/Publishers
Debure, Jean-Jacques, active 1813?-1838?
Debure, Marie-Jacques, active 1813?-1838?
Didot, Firmin, active 1790-1827
Other names
Pausanias Periegetes, c. 115-c. 180
Selenka, Philipp, 1803-1850

Quatremère de Quincy, Antoine-Chrysostôme
Paris 1755 – 1849 Paris

Le Jupiter Olympien, ou l’art de la sculpture antique considéré sous un nou­veau point de vue; ouvrage qui comprend un essai sur le gout de la sculpture polychrome, l’analyse explicative de la toreutique, et l’histoire de la statuaire en or et ivoire chez les Grecs et les Romains, avec la restitution des princi­paux monuments de cet art et la démonstration pratique ou le renouvelle­ment de ses procédés mécaniques.

Paris, Chez Du Bure Frères (De l’Imprimerie de Firmin Didot), 1815

folio (470 × 325 mm), (250) ff. letterpress, signed π1 (half-title) 2π1 (title) 3π1 (dedication, Au Roi, subscribed by the author) 4π1 (Table Indicative) *2 (continuation of Table Indicative; Table des Planches) a–f2 g2 (–g2, cancelled) 1–1152 (last leaf blank) and paginated (4) (i)–vi (2), i–xxv (1), 1–458, with two unsigned etched tail-pieces (folios g1, 182); plus engraved frontispiece and thirty-one unsigned numbered etched plates, of which the frontispiece and nineteen plates are hand-coloured (nos. ii–iv, vii–x, xiii, xx, xxii–xxxi) and one (pl. xxi) touched with a grey wash. Lacking initial and final blank leaves present in Blackmer and British Architectural Library copies.

Occasional foxing; upper compartment of the spine loosening.

bound in contemporary russia leather, decorated in gilt; engraved ticket of Philipp Selenka (verfertigt bei Ph. Selenka in Wiesbaden)

First edition of the author’s speculations about the role of colour in Greek art and architecture, presented as reconstructions of about ten lost sculptures of Greek Antiquity, including the Chest of Kypselos (pls. iii–iv), the Athena Parthenos (pls. viii–x), the chryselephantine Zeus at Olympia (pls. xi–xvii), and a table for the Olympic Games, made of gold and ivory (pl. xxiv). The work fed a controversy concerning polychromy and the iconography of Greek sculpture.1

Throne and statue of Apollo at Amyclae, according to the description by Pausanias (pl. vii)

Quatremère formed his arguments on the basis of descriptions by Greek and Latin authors, chiefly Pausanias, since Pausanias appeared to ‘observe with a critical spirit the differences in the art and style of the monuments’ (p.189): ‘there is nothing easier for one to follow in drawing than the description of Pausanias’ (p.131).2 Also relying on ancient testimonia, Quatremère provides a full account of the sculptural technique (coining the term chrysele­phantine), and several plates record his conjectures about the internal armature and the application of the ivory veneers. His particular interest in the gilding and colouring of these carvings is reflected in the hand-colouring of the plates, which form an integral part of his argument.

The size of the edition was reputedly 260 copies, of which perhaps ten were printed on papier vélin.3 The book was first issued by Firmin Didot in 1814,4 with a dedication ‘Au Roi’ (Louis xviii, restored to the throne in May 1814) subscribed by the author. Sometime the following year, after Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, and the King’s second restoration (8 July 1815), it was reissued; the present copy is representative of this second issue. It has a new title-page, naming De Bure as publisher,5 and proclaiming ‘Dédié au Roi’ in prominent letters.6 Quatremère’s dedication ‘Au Roi’ is reprinted with his original expression of fealty (‘…et de mon inviolable fidélité envers sa Personne et envers son illustre Famille’) re-stated more emphatically (‘…et de mon inviolable fidélité envers sa Personne sacrée et son auguste Famille’). All other sheets of the 1815 issue are in the original setting. In 1836, the edition was remaindered by the Parisian bookseller L. Bourgeois-Maze.7

The same nineteen plates are coloured in this copy, the Blackmer copy, and British Archi­tectural Library copy.

Our handsomely-bound copy contains the engraved ticket of the bookbinder Philipp Selenka (1803–1850) of Wiesbaden, brother of Johann Jacob Selenka (1801–1871), Hof­buchbinder in Braunschweig.8

references Leopoldo Cicognara, Catalogo ragionato dei libri d’arte e d’antichità posseduti dal Conte Cicognara (Pisa 1821), p.49 no. 285 (‘Esemplare in carta velina’); Fabia Borroni Salvadori, ‘Il Cicognara:’ Bibliografia dell’ archeologia classica e dell’arte italiana (Florence 1965), no. 11175; Leonora Navari, Greece and the Levant: the catalogue of the Henry Myron Blackmer collection of books and manuscripts (London 1989), p.288 no. 1367 (copy on papier vélin); British Architectural Library, Early printed books 1478–1840: catalogue of the British Architectural Library, Early Imprints Collection (London & Munich 1994–2003), no. 2683

1. Tom Flynn, ‘Amending the myth of Phidias: Quatremère de Quincy and the nineteenth-century re­vival of Chryselephantine sculpture’ in Apollo 145 (January 1997), pp.6–10.

2. Translations of Quatremère by Céline Guilmet, from Following Pausanias: The quest for Greek Antiquity, catalogue of an exhibition held at the Gennadius Library, Athens, edited by Maria Georgopolou (New Castle, de 2007), pp.181–185.

3. Jacques-Charles Brunet, Manuel du libraire et de l’amateur de livres (Paris 1820), iii, p.176: ‘Il en a été tiré 250 exempl. en papier ordinaire: 200 fr. et 10 en papier vélin, 400 fr.’. Cf. Journal général de la littérature de France, 19 (Paris 1816), p.94: ‘200 fr., sur papier vélin, dont il n’a été tiré que 50 exemplaires, 300 fr.’.

4. Imprint in 1814 issue: A Paris, | Chez Firmin Didot. Imprimeur de l’Institut, | Libraire pour les Mathématiques, l’Architecture, La Marine, etc., | Rue Jacob, N° 24. | [rule] | 1814. Among copies dated 1814 are ■ Athens, Gennadius Library, A 54 ■ Los Angeles, Getty Research Institute, 93-B5834 ■ Paris, Bibliothèque de l’Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, collections Jacques Doucet, NUM FOL VA 328 (http://bibliotheque-numerique.inha.fr/collection/8487-le-jupiter-olympien/; link).

5. Imprint in 1815 issue: A Paris, | Chez De Bure Frères, Libraires du Roi et de la Bibliothèque du Roi | Rue Serpente, N° 7. | [rule] | De L’Imprimerie de Firmin Didot. | 1815. ■ Heidelberg, Universitäts­bibliothek, C 3236 A Gross RES (http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/quatremeredequincy1815; link).

6. René Schneider, Quatremère de Quincy et son intervention dans les arts (1788–1850) (Paris 1910), ‘Les œuvres et les sources’, p.vi: ‘mais postdaté en 1815 sur la plupart des exemplaires pour être dédié à Louis xviii). The two copies in the author’s personal library are both dated 1815 (‘Bibliothèque de M. Quatremère de Quincy’, Paris, 27 May 1850, p.90 lots 526–527; link).

7. Bibliographie de la France, 26 March 1836, ‘Feuilleton du Journal de la Librairie, no. 13’, pp.5–6.

8. Two bindings by Philipp Selenka in the Fürstlich Waldecksche Hofbibliothek, Arolsen, are described by Rudolf-Alexander Schütte and Konrad Wiedemann, Einbandkunst vom frühmittelalter bis Jugend­stil aus den Bibliotheken in Kassel und Arolsen, Universitätsbibliothek Kassel (Kassel 2002), p.54 no. 68 and Abb. 51. Philipp Selenka was a specialist ‘Portefeuillearbeiter’; see Hektor Rössler, Ausführli­cher Bericht über die von dem Gewerbverein für das Großherzogthum Hessen im Jahre 1842 veran­staltete Allgemeine deutsche Industrie-Ausstellung zu Mainz (Darmstadt 1843), p.240.

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