PERCIER, Charles (1764-1838) et Pierre François Léonard FONTAINE (1762-1853). Choix des Plus Celebres Maison de Plaisance de Rome et de ses Environs. Paris: Chez les Auteurs, au Louvre, 1809.
Elephant folio (23 4/8 x 16 inches). Half-title. 72 full-page engraved plates, number 1-75 with 2 bis, 18 engraved vignettes (some occasionally heavy spotting throughout). Contemporary half scarlet roan, paper boards, gilt (worn with minor loss at the extremities), 2 original blue printed paper wrappers bound in, original prospectus on the front paste-down.
Originally published in 12 monthly parts starting on the 9th of October 1809, each with 6 plates, explanatory text, vignettes, head- and tail-pieces.
A magnificent work illustrating and celebrating some of the principal palaces in and around Rome, including those of the Medici, Borghese, Farnese, Negroni and Altieri famies, amongst others.
"As architects and designers, Percier and Fontaine contributed greatly to the panoply of elegance with which Napoleon surrounded himself. They were the architects for the Empress Josephine for the remodeling of Malmaison, they were the architects of the Louvre and of the Tuileries. They worked at Saint- Cloud, the Trianon, Compiegne, and Fountainebleau" Napoleon's epic." (William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, 1969 "The Taste of Napoleon"). Brunet IV, 489: Tres-bel ouvrage; Cicognara 3822.Catalogued by Kate Hunter