VII Pl. Of the Second Order of the Coliseum

Method Copper engraving
Artist George Marshall after Antoine Desgodetz
Published Desgodetz del. G. Marshall sculp. [I. and J. Taylor, London, 1795.]
Dimensions Image 330 x 200 mm, Plate 340 x 212 mm, Sheet 550 x 380 mm
Notes Inscriptions read: 'Capital on the Side.' 'Profile on the middle of the Capital.' 'Impost & Band of the Arches.'

Plate 7 of Chapter 21 from Marshall's The Ancient Buildings of Rome, an English edition of Desgodetz' Les edifices antiques de Rome dessinés et mesurés très exactement, depicting an architectural profile of part of the entablature and a column capital and base from the second order of the Colosseum in Rome. The second level of arcades on the Colosseum makes use of the Ionic order, so the diagrams alongside the elevation show the volutes from the side and also provide a cross section of the capital. A plumb line and bob hangs from the impost of the arch shown below.

Desgodetz' Les edifices antiques de Rome dessinés et mesurés très exactement was published by Coignard in Paris in 1682. Intended as an ambitious attempt to be the first precise description of ancient Roman architecture, the illustrative plates of Rome's main ancient buildings were accompanied by commentaries and meticulous architectural measurements. In so doing, it corrected the errors of Renaissance architects like Palladio, Serlio, and Labacco, proving conclusively that Roman architecture was far from the perfect adherence to a established canon that it had been assumed to have been. Instead, Desgodetz proved that Roman architecture was often flawed and inconsistent, with design responding more to necessity and availability of space than any official canon. The book became a seminal resource for French artists and architects and played a major role in stimulating artistic and academic interest in Rome's ancient structures during the following century. The work was reissued twice, in 1729 and 1779, and was a key inspiration for the young Robert Adam, who originally intended to revise the work before his famous journey to Split, Croatia. Adam undertook the project of republishing Desgotz's work but abandoned it a year later.

The unrecorded architect and engraver George Marshall who resided in Kensington Palace took up the task of engraving new plates. It has been suggested that this project was commissioned and financed by George III as Marshall dedicated his work to him. Only Volume I was published in Marshall's lifetime. The publishers I. and J. Taylor printed the second volume along with a reissued first volume in 1795.

Antoine Babuty Desgodetz (1653 - 1728) was a French artist and architect, known for his work on Roman architecture, Les edifices antiques de Rome dessinés et mesurés très exactement. Desgodetz had been sent to Rome by order of the King to help foster French artistic and architectural policy, and the illustrations and information he gathered formed the basis for the standardisation of French academic architecture.

Condition: Small puncture to centre of top margin, not affecting plate. Minor foxing and time toning to margins and edges of sheet. Binders creases to left edge of sheet.
Framing unmounted
Price £100.00
Stock ID 50569

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