RESIDENCES MEMORABLES DE L'INCOMPARABLE HEROS DE NÔTRE SIECLE OU REPRESENTATION EXACTE DES EDIFICES ET JARDINS DE SON ALTESSE SERENISSIME MONSEIGNEUR LE PRINCE EUGENE FRANCOIS DUC DE SAVOYE ET DE PIEMONT. [bound with] REPRESENTATION DES ANIMAUX DE LA MENAGERIE DE S.A.S. FRANCOIS DE SAVOYE ET DE PIEMONT.
(Augsburg: Heirs of Jeremie Wolff, 1731-1740; 1734). 328 x 505 mm. (12 7/8 x 20"). 11 engraved calligraphic title pages in French and German (10 in first work, one in second). Lacking the engraved text dedication leaf in first work. Two works in one volume. FIRST EDITIONS.
Late 19th-century brown half morocco over wood-grained paper boards, raised bands, gilt-framed spine compartments, gilt titling, hinges reinforced, marbled endpapers and edges. WITH 102 FINE ENGRAVED PLATES after Kleiner, 90 in the first work (nine folding) and 12 in the second. Text in French and German. Front pastedown with armorial bookplate of Gustave Suttner. Berlin Katalogue 2117; Lipperheide 686; Graesse IV, 28; Nissen ZBI 2212 (second work only). ◆Joints and extremities a bit rubbed, boards a little chafed, a couple of plates faintly foxed, intermittent thumbing, isolated small marginal stains, but all of these defects quite minor, and, in all, an excellent copy, clean and fresh internally with pleasing impressions of the plates, and in an entirely sound binding.
These magnificent engravings depict a masterpiece of Baroque architecture: the Belvedere Palace and Gardens in Vienna, summer home of Prince Eugene of Savoy. The masterwork of architect Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt, Belvedere is displayed here in all its glory, in artist Salomon Kleiner's detailed engravings of the exterior, the garden, and the many splendid rooms. The second work is an extremely charming view of the prince's menagerie, filled with exotic animals and plants. The plates, engraved after Kleiner's drawings by J. J. Graesmann, J. G. Thelott, J. A. Corvinus, J. B. Probst, J. A. Friedrich, and others, include plans, elevations, and cross-sections as well as details of architectural ornament and interior design. Born into a noble French family--and even rumored to be the illegitimate son of Louis XIV-- Eugene (1663-1736) was thwarted in his military ambitions by the Sun King's disfavor. Consequently, he moved to Austria and offered his services to the Holy Roman Emperor. He became field marshal of the Austrian army, teacher of Frederick the Great, and, according to Britannica, "one of the seven great strategists of all time," and the only one "whose campaigns Napoleon considered worthy of study by posterity." The reward Eugene received for his military success enabled him to become a patron of Baroque architecture; the Belvedere, planned and constructed by the most distinguished architects, engineers, landscapers, and decorators, was the grandest of his residences, and a worthy rival to his nemesis Louis XIV's Versailles. Kleiner's scenes show the beautiful palace and grounds enlivened by fashionable figures, of the sort Prince Eugene entertained at his many hunting parties. The delightful menagerie established in 1617 comes to life in Kleiner's engravings, depicting chatty parrots, stately elk, many exotic birds, mischievous apes, and a regal and rather disdainful lion. Complete sets of these plates are uncommon; the last complete set we could trace auction sold in 2012. (Lhi21055)