Art & Architecture encompasses a broad sweep of material, from early works concerning architecture and architectural history, and books and manuscripts on the fine arts and aesthetics, antiquities and archaeology, to pattern and design books, and private press books and fine bindings. The department also handles original artwork, artistic archives, posters, and propaganda material.
An Inquiry into the Real and Imaginary Obstruction to the Acquisition of the Arts in England.
London, Printed for T. Becket, 1775
First edition of the Irish painter James Barry’s first book which he had begun writing while in Rome and published a few years later, after he had become a member of the recently founded Royal Academy. It is a passionate plea for English patronage of the arts, especially painting. Barry noted that...
Verzeichnis der Werke lebender Künstler welche fur die Kunstaustellung in den Sälen des Königl. Akademie-Gebäudes...
Berlin, Hofbuchdruckerei, 1860.
Exhibition catalogue of contemporary artists.
Descrizione e spiegazione della misteriosa figura. In occasione del santo solenne sepolcro rappresentata nella Chiesa...
Bologna, per li Rossi, e Comp. alla Rosa, (1719).
Scarce ephemeral guide to the decorations, paintings and statuary put on for the Easter pageant on 6 April 1719 (Maundy Thursday) in the Santa Catarina church in Bologna. The pamphlet is interestingly detailed in describing the art works displayed, their iconographical meaning, their textual sources,...
Le imagini con la spositione de i dei de gli antichi.
Venice, per Francesco Marcolini, 1556.
First edition of Cartari’s influential and successful treatise on the mythology of the ancients. Cartari concentrated on the iconography of the gods, explaining their guises and detailing their several attributes. His book was expressively written to aid artists, painters and sculptors, to understand...
CHAUCER, Geoffrey. FRINK, Elizabeth, illustrator.
Etchings illustrating Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’. Introduction and Translation...
[London,] Waddington, 1972.
First edition of Frink’s monumental Canterbury Tales, one of 50 copies in the standard edition, numbered B 70 and signed by Frink, from an entire print run of 300 copies.
CORTENAY BOYLE, Carolina.
[Cover title:] Ten Mezzo-tinto Engravings, from original Drawings, dedicated by Permission to...
First and only edition, very rare, of this series of fine landscape prints, produced by the French etcher Louis Marvy (1815-1850) after drawings by Carolina Courtenay Boyle (1803-1883), a maid of honour to Adelaide the Queen Dowager. 'Rather than mezzotints, the prints were made using a variety of techniques...
Istoria del viaggio d’Alemagna del serenissimo Gran Duca di Toscana Ferdinando Secondo …
First and only edition of a rare account of the journey Ferdinando II de’ Medici, Granduke of Tuscany, made to celebrate his coming of age and taking on the running of government. Ferdinando II travelled from February to July 1628 and first visited Rome to pay homage to the Pope, then Loreto, Bologna,...
6 Blätter Altenburger Trachten.
Altenburg, Schnuphase’sche Buchhandlung, [c. 1857].
Charming Altenburg costume plates, lacking at least one plate.
La vie des peintres flamands, allemands et hollandois, avec des portraits gravés en taille-douce, une...
Paris, chez Charles-Antoine Jombert, [and] Desaint & Saillant, Pissot, Durand, 1753-1763
First edition of the painter Descamps’ biographies of Flemish, German and Dutch masters. In all there are eighty biographies from the Renaissance to 1706. In his preface Descamps outlines the limitations of his predecessors, his purpose, and his printed sources. The Lives include a list of the principal...
Sui Soffitti memoria.
Venice, Alvisopoli, 1838.
New edition, dedicated to Count Antonio Trissino, as copies of the original edition were unprocurable.
DONI, Antonio Francesco.
Disegno … partito in piu ragionamenti, ne quali si tratta della scoltura e pittura; de colori, de getti,...
Venice, appresso Gabriel Giolito di Ferrarii, 1549.
First edition of an important art theoretical text by the polyglot scholar Anton Francesco Doni wo discusses the Renaissance concept of disegno in contomporary sculpture and painting. The book is divided into two parts, the first consists of six essays discussing disegno, the second prints a handul of...
Catalogue des dessins aquarelles et estampes de Gustave Doré, exposés dans les Salons du Cercle de la Libraire...
Paris, Cercle de la Librairie, 1885
Gustave Doré had died in 1883. This is one of the first commemorative exhibitions of his drawings and prints. Here are 374 pieces listed (provenances are always given). This is also one of the earliest monographs on one of the most popular French illustrators of his time. George Duplessis, curator of...
DUTHUIT, Georges, Georges SALLES and Wolfgang Fritz VOLBACH.
Art byzantin. Cent planches reproduisant un grand nombre de pièces...
Paris, Albert Lévy, .
First edition. ‘L’exposition qui se tint au Pavillon de Marsan permit d’avoir une vue d’ensemble de l’art byzantin. Pour la première fois, depuis près de cinq cents ans, se trouvèrent rassemblées des pièces de toutes techniques, jusque-là disséminées au hasard des trésors et des collections...
Dialogues sur les Arts, entre un Artiste Ameriquain et un Amateur Francois.
Amsterdam [i.e. Paris], 1756.
Second edition of this important series of dialogues between a South American (native of Peru) painter and a French amateur and connoisseur on the practice and study of painting, with a special emphasis on the art of the painter Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin (1699-1779). The original edition appeared...
EVERY, S[imon] F[rederick].
Etchings by S. F. Every, Esq.
[No place, no date], [c. 1834].
A rare collection of etchings by the Derbyshire artist and etcher Simon Frederick Every (1804-1888), probably put together by the artist himself. This is the earliest collection of his work known.
FIORILLO, Johann Dominicus.
Geschichte der zeichnenden Künste, von ihrer Wiederauflebung bis auf die neusten Zeiten ...
Göttingen, bei Johann Georg Rosenbusch, 1798 [and Johann Friederich Rower], 1801-1805.
First edition. Fiorillo began as a painter, studying in Rome and Bologna, but turned to art history and became a professor at the University of Gottingen and colleague of Lichtenberg, in 1781. His erudite survey of the art of painting throughout Europe was among the first to make use of medieval documentary...
Catalogue raisonné de toutes les pieces qui forment l’oeuvre de Rembrandt … avec le augmentations nécessaires...
Paris, chez Hochereau, 1751.
YVER, Pierre. Supplement au catalogue raisonné de M.M. Gersaint, Helle & Glomy de toutes les pieces qui forment l’oeuvre de Rembrandt. Amsterdam, chez Pierre Yver, Marchand de Tableaux & d’Estampes, 1756.
GROSSI, G. B. Gennaro.
Le Belle Arti.
Naples, dalla tipografia del Giornale Enciclopedico, 1820.
First edition in book form, reprinted from the Giornale Enciclopedico di Napoli, with some additional material in an appendix to the second volume. The first volume is on the music and musicians of Naples, the second volume deals with Neapolitan painters up to the eighteenth century.
Niclaus Manuel. Leben und Werke eines Malers und Dichters. Kriegers, Staatsmannes und Reformators im sechszehnten...
Tubingen, Cotta, 1837.
First edition of the first separate biography of the Bern painter and woodcutter Hans Rudolf Manuel Deutsch (1525-1571).
An Essay on Design: including Proposals for erecting a public Academy to be supported by voluntary Subscription...
London, Printed: and sold by John Brindley ... S. Harding ... & M. Payne ... 1749.
First edition of the first public appeal for a national academy of arts. John Gwynn’s Essay called attention to the inadequacy of art training in England. ‘Whatever thoughts about an academy were in the air at the time were set in motion by the Essay’ (Harris). It was Gwynn’s first salvo in a...