Large folio (540 x 365 mm), with a tinted lithographed title, list of plates, preface (with lithographed vignette of the bridge at Córdoba), and 27 tinted lithographed plates after the author by Louis Haghe, Thomas Shotter Boys and Paul Gauci; title, list of plates and four plates foxed, some foxing or spotting elsewhere but mostly confined to margins and rarely affecting images, some marginal staining, but generally a very good copy in the publisher’s contemporary dark green roan-backed watered silk-patterned cloth, spine gilt, edges gilt; extremities rubbed, a few minor marks, covers sunned at head; from the library of Ian Robertson (1928–2020).
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First edition of this impressive collection of views, one of the most sumptuous such works devoted to Spain. George Vivian (1798–1873) was a connoisseur, collector, amateur architect and member of the Society of Dilettanti. He was also a member of the Commission set up to select a plan for the new Houses of Parliament following the burning of the Palace of Westminster in 1834.
‘The drawings for this volume were made at different periods in the years 1833 and 1837. During the first period Spain was comparatively tranquil, and . . . the monastic bodies were still in existence throughout the country. During the second I saw the demolition of some of the finest convents going on, and observed the sites on which others had recently stood: the prospect of the speedy ruin of nearly all, either from their total abandonment, the want of funds to support them, or wealthy purchasers to inhabit them, made me feel a strong desire to preserve some trace of establishments, where the towers and belfries and long level lines of the buildings, the terraces and the cypresses of the gardens give an interest and character to many scenes not less in Spain than in Italy. Circumstances led me to do more than I at first intended, and the work now presented to the public contains a selection, mostly of general views, taken in Biscay, Galicia, the Castilles, La Mancha, Catalonia, Valencia and Andalusia . . . . In making the drawings strict fidelity has been observed in delineating the face of the country, of its buildings and productions, and the dress and manners of its people. Upon an adherence to truth in these respects the value of drawings of scenery must principally depend’ (preface). According to Abbey the work first appeared in six parts.
Abbey, Travel 154; Palau 372195.
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