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Choix Des Plus Célebres Maisons De Plaisance De Rome Et De Ses Environs Mesurées Et Dessinées Par Charles Percier Et P.F.L. Fontaine.

Charles Percier

RA Collection: Book

Record number




À Paris: de L'Imprimerie De P. Didot L'Aîné, M D CCC IX.

Physical Description

[4], 72 p., 75 [i.e. 77] pl. : illus. ; 61 cm. (Broadsheet.)

General Note

There is a bis pl. 39 and one unnumbered pl. (captioned in the plate as 'Villa D'Est A Tivoli' and bound in before pl. 58 - but in some copies bound in as a frontis.).


[Half-title, t.p.] - Discours Préliminaire - [Text and plates] - Table Des Architectes Et Des Artistes Mentionnés ... - Table Des Planches ....

Responsibility Note

All plates except numbers 2 and 69 are signed as drawn by Percier and Fontaine, and all but no. 69 are signed by engravers or by etchers and engravers. Those signed by engraver only name Gounod, Bonnard, Pillement, Baltard, Pauquet, Lacour, Clochard, Delettre, Réville or Thierry. Those signed by both etchers and engravers name as etchers Filhol, J.J. De la Porte, Réville, Bonnard, Pillement, Lacour or De Saulx, and as engravers Niquet, Duparc or Haina (or Heina).

The headpieces and tailpieces are all signed as drawn by Percier and Fontaine and engraved by Gounod, Baltard, Pauquet, Testard, De Villiers (or Devilliers) l'ainé, De Villiers frères, Pillement, Lacour or Godefroy fils.


Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library ... Early printed books, 3 (1999), no. 2485, p.1420-2.

P.F.L. Fontaine, Journal, 1799-1853 (1987); H. Ottomeyer, Das frühe Oeuvre Charles Perciers, 1782-1811: zu den Anfängen des Historismus in Frankreich (1981); M.L. Biver, 'Fontaine et Percier, amis légendaires', in Rev. Inst. Napoléon, 94 (1965 Jan.).

On the work of the printer Pierre Didot see C.M. Osborne, Pierre Didot and French book illustration 1759-1822 (1985).

Summary Note

The work was originally issued serially, in twelve parts.

Each group of plates is preceded by a descriptive letter-press.

The plates are plans and views, and show the following villas: Albani (pl. 1-7), Medici (8-13), Panfili and Barberini (14-19), Borghese (20-26), Mattei (27-29), Farnesiana (30-32), Negroni ou Montalto (33-35), Del Papa, Ou Villa Pia (36-38), Madama (39-42), Sacchetti (39 bis and 43), Altieri (44, 45), Di Papa Giulio (46-49), Bolognetti (50, 51), Monte Dragone (52-54), Taverna (55, 56), Muti (57), D'Este (58-62), Casino Colonna A Marino (63), Aldobrandini (64-66), Lanti A Baglia (67, 68), Giustiniani A Bassano (69), Caprarola (70-72), Palazzuolo Di Caprarola (73-75). (It has been remarked that the views of the villas Mattei, Madama, Sacchetti and Negroni are historical reconstructions rather than representations of the buildings as they stood in Percier and Fontaine's day.) The headpieces and tailpieces all show fragments of sculpture from the Villa Albani.

Fontaine had studied in Rome from 1785 to 1792, and Percier from 1786 to 1792; and their first published work was devoted to the city - Palais, maisons, et autres édifices modernes, dessinés à Rome (1798).

A second edition was published in 1824.


29 December 1820: 'Resolved that the following works be purchased for the Library, viz. - ... Villas of Rome by Percier & his other works ...' (RA Council Minutes VI, 184-5).

16 February 1821: Richard Baynes' bill of £52 18s. 'for Architectural Books' passed for payment (RA Council Minutes VI, 193).

This title is listed in A Catalogue of the Library in the Royal Academy, London, 1821, p. 16.

Copy Note

The bis plate 39 is bound in between pl. 42 and 43.

Binding Note

19th-century half calf, marbled-papered boards; rebacked in 20th century, spine lettered 'Percier Choix Des Plus Celebres Maisons De Plaisance Rome'.


Villas - Country houses - Houses - Palaces - Gardens - Italy - Lazio - Rome - Frascati - Tivoli - History - Renaissance - Baroque
Views - Plans - 19th century
Pictorial works - 19th century