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.
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...
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...
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,...
VIAS, Balthasar de.
In clarissimum virum Nicolaum Claudium Fabricium de Peiresc ... Epicedion.
Marseille, apud Claudium Garcin, 1642
First edition of Balthasar de Vias’ elegant neo-Latin elegy commemorating the life of his friend the scholar, antiquary and collector Nicolas Claude Fabri de Peiresc (1580-1637) of Aix en Provence, the most learned man of his time.
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,...
Marmor Estonianum seu Dissertatio de sella marmorea votiva Estoniae, in Agro Northamptoniensi conservata.
London, Typis J. Bettenham, 1744.
First edition of Nixon’s essay on the well preserved fragment of an ancient marble seat, with a Greek inscription, unearthed in a Northamptonshire field by a farmer ploughing.
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...
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.
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...
[LAUGIER, Marc-Antoine, Abbé].
Essai sur l'Architecture.
Paris, chez Duchesne, 1753.
First edition of Laugier’s important and influential Essai advocating a return to the use of geometrical forms in architecture rather than the embellishment of the Orders, and determining the regular layout of streets and squares in city planning, with special reference to Paris, and calling for a...
Risposta alle reflessioni critiche sopra le differenti scuole di Pitture del Sig. Marchese d'Argens.
Lucca, per il Busdrago, 1755
Not in Cicognara or Schlosser-Magnino.
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...
[BERTOTTI SCAMOZZI, Ottavio].
Descrizione dell’Arco Trionfale eretto nella Pubblica Piazza di Vicenza la notte 12 Novembre 1758...
Vicenza, nella Stamperia di Carlo Bressan e Francesco Mazzolini Compagni, 1758.
First and only edition of Bertotti Scamozzi’s own description of his triumphal arch erected to honour the newly created Cardinal Antonio Marino Priuli, as well as his account of the celebratory festivities which were held at night. This temporary wooden arch was Bertotti Scamozzi’s first architectural...
A New Description of the Pictures, Statues, Bustos, Basso-Relievos, and other Curiosities at the Earl of Pembroke’s...
Salisbury: Printed by Benjamin Collins... sold by R.Baldwin, 1758.
First edition of Kennedy’s guide book to the art collections of Wilton House in Wiltshire, seat of the Earls of Pembroke. This is the first proper guide book to the Wilton House collections. This catalogue is annotated from Pembroke’s own manuscript notes. Contemporaries, like Winckelmann and Horace...
WATELET, Claude Henri.
L’Arte della Pittura. Poema con alcune riflessioni che servono di note tradotto in italiano da Nemillo...
Genoa, Paolo & Adamo Scionico, 1765.
First Italian edition, translated from the true first edition (1760) of this didactic poem, Watelet’s first work, composed at the country seat of Moulinjoli after his travels in Germany and Italy. It is dedicated to the members of the Royal Academy of Painting, with a preliminary discourse and reflections...
Castone della Torre di. Discorsi accademici del conte … segretario perpetuo della R. Accademia delle Belle Arti.
Parma, [Bodoni], 1772.
First and only edition of an exquisite little product of the Bodoni house: Count Rezzonico’s reflections on the fine arts, including a dissertation on the techniques of woodcut and engraving. The Neo-Classical aesthetics that inform this work are reflected in the illustrations, masterfully executed...
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...
Elements of painting with crayons. The second edition, with additions.
London, printed for J. Wilkie, in St. Paul’s Church-Yard; J. Walter, at Charing Cross; and R. Bishop, Newport-Street, 1777.
Second corrected and enlarged edition of the most comprehensive contemporary record of pastel technique in Great Britain.
DELAFOSSE, Jean Charles.
Algemeen kunstenaars Handboek; of, Schatkamer … Receuil des fontains, frontispices, pyramides, cartouches,...
Amserdam, Jan Willem Smit, [c. 1775].
A fine suite of ornamental designs by the most prolific proponent of the Louis XVI style, the architect and ornament designer Jean Charles Delafosse (1721-89). This is the re-issue of his Iconologie Historique, originally published in Paris at Delalain in 1768. This edition has the French text together...
Catalogo istorico de’ pittori e scultori ferraresi e delle opere loro con in fine una nota esatta delle...
Ferrara, per Francesco Pomatelli, 1782-83
First edition of the most important source book on artistic life in Ferrara then published. Cesare Citadella (1732-1809), a painter, priest, and curator of the natural history cabinet affiliated to Ferrara University, compiled his work by using the unpublished manuscript of Girolamo Baruffaldi who had...