(London: Rodwell & Martin, 1822). 272 x 186 mm. (10 3/4 x 7 3/8").  leaves (first leaf blank; a half title, called for in the list of plates, is not present). FIRST EDITION.
Attractive contemporary dark brown straight-grain morocco, covers with densely gilt border of acanthus leaves, raised bands, spine gilt in compartments and with gilt lettering, turn-ins with multiple gilt rules and four gilt floral motifs, all edges gilt. Engraved title and 65 plates, including vignette, four plans, and 60 FINE PLATES OF VIEWS BY BATTY, engraved by Charles Heath and others. With text in English and French. Illegible ink signature on flyleaf and title. Corners a bit rubbed and two a little bumped, other minor signs of wear, but the binding entirely sound and very pleasing; title page and vignette rather foxed, light, generally marginal, foxing to many of the plates (darker foxing on a few examples), occasional offsetting from the text, but these defects mostly minor, and on the whole, the text and plates still very clean and appealing.
With his usual charm, skill, and precision, Batty here illustrates scenes from the streets of Paris to the environs of Bordeaux. As usual, our artist demonstrates a special interest in architecture, with numerous engravings of churches, historic buildings, and even a few interiors rendered in impressive detail. As in his other illustrated books, the carefully drawn scenes here give a strong impression of veracity, while still catering to the prevailing British Romantic taste for picturesque views. Approximately three-quarters of the book is devoted to Paris, while the remainder visits Versailles, Lyon, Strasbourg, Amiens, Calais, Bordeaux, and a few other neighboring regions. Robert Batty (d. 1848) went to Italy at 15 to study art, returned to England to enroll at Cambridge, and served as an officer at Waterloo. He then undertook the publication of books which he himself illustrated, including records of his campaigns. His most famous works are the ones--like the present item--which illustrate the scenery of various countries or regions. Hunnisett says that he was the most celebrated of the amateur topographical artists whose work found its way into print at the time, while Redgrave says that "his industry was great" and "his works carefully and truthfully drawn." Ours is one of 11 books on European scenery he published during the years 1815-32 in conjunction with the best engravers of the time. "French Scenery" is generally available in the marketplace, but the present copy stands out because of its handsome binding and advantageous price. (ST15525)
Add to Cart Price: $475.00
PJP Catalog: 75.