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Jacques-François Blondel (and Pierre Patte). Cours d'architecture ou traité de la décoration, distribution et constructions des bâtiments contenant les leçons données en 1750, et les années suivantes ... Tome premier (-neuvième). A Paris, chez Dessaint, 1771-1777.
€ 6000First edition of the course of architecture based on the lessons held by Jacques-François Blondel (1705-1774) until his death and continued by his former assistant Pierre Patte. This comprehensive work is often called the "petit Blondel" in order to distinguish it from the "grand Blondel", the course of architecture in larger size written by his grandfather and published in four folio volumes in 1683. Blondels own school, the Ecole des Arts, founded in 1740, differred from the Académie Royale d'Architecture in its comprehensive educational policy, but was not in conflict with the older school. Blondel was conservative in taste and rational in his methods. His educational purpose was to consolidate ... classical French tradition... In 1770 he began publishing his lecture notes. On his death in 1774 the last two volumes and the plates belonging to this section of work were completed by his disciple, Pierre Patte. Much of the financing of the course was undertaken by Blondel. Along with other XVIIIth century authors of architectural publications who funded their own work, he suffered financially from his investment ... Blondel's approach to architecture was encyclopedic ...; he respected traditional approaches and built upon them by including all aspects of the architectural profession in his comprehensive educational system ... He intended that his graduates should be able to examine architectural problems impartially and make knowledgeable decisions and choices. All persons concerned with architecture could find a place in his school; Blondel designed curricula not only for potential architects but also for artisans, amateurs, and architectural patrons ... In the course Blondel first unites the three traditional Vitruvian branches of architecture - decoration, distribution, and construction - by considering all of them equally. He then divides the Course into three similar sections, two volumes of text and one of plates, related to these branches of architecture ... Part 1 ..., on the decoration of buildings, contains first a comprehensive discussion of all orders, including a history of their origin from the primitive hut until the mid-eighteenth century, a consideration of Gothic building and, in volume II, a long section on private and public building types. Part 2, is concerned with proportion, decoration, and distribution in domestic architectural interiors. Volume 5, on gardening, which includes an interesting discussion of the English picturesque garden and of the organization of the functions of a house, expands material covered by Blondel in his Distributions des maisons de plaisance and his Architecture française. Part 3 ... was taken up by Pierre Patte after Blondel's death and published in 1777. It contains the remainder of the material on interior decoration, and information on construction adapted by Patte from Blondel's article on masonry in the Encyclopédie and from Patte's own writings, especially from his Mémoires. The organization of this material is traditional, consisting of a brief history of the art of building as well as sections on building material, walls, and wall openings ... with more complex considerations of stone construction, carpentry, and wood finishing ... In this work Blondel is a never-ending source of information ... (Millard). "The Cours d'Architecture, rich in material of great interest to the student of the period, became the standard handbook of its day, largely superseding those of François Blondel and D'Aviler." (Fowler).
Millard French 29; Fowler 51; Kat. Berl. 2429; not in Cicognara.
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