DIDEROT, Denis. Antiquités (Antiquities) Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. Plates vol. 1 Paris (1762)
Folio, 253 x 393mm. 21 pages of descriptive text & 40 loose plates with their accompanying text sheet. Slight browning to margins, a little spotting otherwise very good.
The 11 plates and descriptive text for the entry of Antiquités from volume I of plates, with 29 plates from the Supplementary Volume of Plates.
Plates from Volume I are numbered 1-11, and plate 3 is a double plate.
The 29 plates from the Supplementary volume, are titled and often numbered. The first of these plates is entitled Judaiques and this is an unnumbered double plate. The second plate is entitled Babyloniennes et Egyptiennes and this is numbered. There are then four plates entitled Ruines de Palmyre and these are numbered 1-4. Four further plates on the Ruines de Baalbeck follow, and these are also numbered 1-4, with one double plate. There are also two plates entitled Ruines de Athens and these are numbered. Thirteen plates are on the subject of Art and these are numbered 1-13 with 3 double plates. Two plates follow which are titled Aggleston and Catacombes de Naples. The last two plates are titled Colonne de Cussy, numbered 1-2.
Also with the relevant entries listed under Antiques in the Table Analytique et Raisonnée du Dictionnaire des Sciences, Arts et Métiers. Vol I (1780).
3 pages (169, 516 & 785) from volume I of the Encyclopédie (1751) including L'exposition de divers sentimens de plusieurs nations sur l'antiquité de monde, Architecture and Les Egyptiens
5 pages (22, 342, 388, 391 & 392) from volume III of the Encyclopédie (1753) including information on Les Chaldéens, Les Chinois, Sentiment de M.Marsham, and further information on L'exposition de divers sentimens de plusieurs nations sur l'antiquité de monde
2 pages (980 & 981) from volume IV of the Encyclopédie (1754) including Les arts & les sciences and Recherches de M.Freret sur les antiquités chinois
2 pages (434 & 835) from volume V of the Encyclopédie (1755) including further information on Les Egyptiens and L'exposition de divers sentimens de plusieurs nations sur l'antiquité de monde
1 page (46) from volume IX of the Encyclopédie (1765) including Maimonidès
1 page (89) from volume XIII of the Encyclopédie (1765) including La population du monde dans les siecles reculés
1 page (652) from volume IX of the Encyclopédie (1765) which includes Loix antiques des Visigoths under Antiques
1 page (742) from volume XI of the Encyclopédie (1765) which includes information on Graveurs qui ont excellé à imiter l'antique under Antiques
1 page (268) from volume XII of the Encyclopédie (1765) which includes information on Peinture Antique under Antiques
2 pages (462 & 463) from volume I of the Supplément à l'Encyclopédie (1776) which includes Art du dessin under Antiques
1 page (921) from volume II of the Supplément à l'Encyclopédie (1776) which includes Force & beauté d'expression under Antiques
1 page (515) from volume III of the Supplément à l'Encyclopédie (1777) which includes Importance de l'étude des antiques pour les artistes under Antiques
With some browning to a few leaves.
A selection of relevant text entries are included with these plates. Of particular note are those on Antiquité by Edme Mallet, Antiquité en architecture by Jacques-François Blondel, and two articles on Antique, one by Marc-Antoine Eidous.
Although an abbot and primarily concerned with theology, Mallet also wrote on history and literature. Having studied at the Barnabites College of Montargis, Mallet became a key figure in the success of the Encyclopédie. Dying before the project was completed, Mallet still managed to produce over a thousand articles. Although his views are often criticised as restricted and narrow-minded, he acted as a safeguard for the project which could have been suspended if the religious articles had proved too controversial. His article on antiquities is a general overview, whereas Blondel's contribution focuses on architecture. After studying with Gilles-Marie Oppenord, Blondel earned a living as an engraver and writer. He became a well-regarded architect, also publishing many of his lectures and contributing to major works such as Augustin-Charles d'Aviler's Cours d'Architecture (1737). Founder of the École des Arts, he inspired many young architects, such as his fellow encyclopédist Lucotte. Praised for his Traité de la Décoration des Edifices, he was also an accomplished engraver of plates. He had already produced his own encyclopedia of architecture, so was well-accustomed to the practises of the encyclopedist. With numerous creative abilities, as displayed in his work at the Metz Cathedral, he wrote nearly five hundred articles for the Encyclopédie. Marc-Antoine Eidous was a French writer and translator born in Marseilles. Despite his relatively basic education, he was a tireless writer and translator, focusing mainly on philosophy, travel and agriculture. After serving as an engineer in the Spanish army, he devoted much of his time to literature. Best known for his work on heraldry, he contributed around 450 articles. His writing has been criticised for a lack of elegance, but he gives a very clear summary of the antiquities in this entry.
The plates include Greek and Roman architecture, Judaic antiquities, armour, clothing, furniture and many other subjects. Of particular note are the plates showing the Pantheon, the Colosseum as it would have been when built and as a ruin, the Arch of Constantine, the Circus of Maxentius (known as the Cirque de Caracalla until the 19th-century), the forum in ruins, Trajan's column before the bronze figure of St. Peter was added in 1587, and St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Also displayed are some items of jewellery and ceremonial dress, alongside other ornaments.
There are over twice as many plates in the supplement. The suite begins with a double plate of Noah's Ark, and covers the Tower of Babel, the Pyramids and the Sphinx at Giza. Further plates are plans and reconstructions of Palmyra, Baalbeck, and Athens before the extensive 19th-century excavations. These are followed by depictions of the Apotheosis of Homer by Archelaus of Priene, Achilles's shield, the Roman Cussy-la-Colonne, and many types of decorated chairs and lamps. Indeed two pages are dedicated solely to different types of sandal. With large and attractive illustrations, such as that of the catacombs in Naples, these plates of classical antiquity are particularly pleasing.