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Histoire De La Peinture Ancienne, Extraite De L'Histoire Naturelle De Pline, Liv. XXXV. Avec le Texte Latin, corrigé sur les Mss. de Vossius & sur le I. Ed. de Venise, & éclairci par des Remarques nouvelles. - [Epigraph] -

Pliny the Elder

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Uniform Title

[Naturalis Historia., Book 35.]


A Londres,: Chez Guillaume Bowyer,, MDCCXXV.

Physical Description

[2], xii, [6], 308, [8] p., frontis., [1] pl.; 356 mm. (Folio.)

General Note

The plate carries no plate-number but the number of the page next to which it is to be bound, 'pag. 265'.


[Frontis., t.p., dedic.] - Preface (by D... D..., 1724) - Liste Alphabetique Des Personnes qui ont bien voulu souscrire pour l'Edition de l'Ouvrage - Histoire De La Peinture Ancienne - C. Plinii Secundi Naturalis Historiae Liber XXXV ...; C. Plinii S. De Pictura & Coloribus Elenchos - Table Des Matieres - Index Emendationum - Errata.

Responsibility Note

The Preface is by 'D... D...', i.e. David Durand; who states that proofs of the text have been corrected by a young man born like his father for the glory of printing [presumably William Bowyer the younger].

The frontispiece is signed as designed and made by B. Picart. The plate at p.265 is signed as drawn by L. Cheron and engraved by G. Vder Gucht.

The dedication headpiece is also signed as drawn by L. Cheron and engraved by G. Vder. Gucht.

The work is dedicated to the King [George I].


ESTC, T133316 [large-paper issue].
S. Carey, Pliny's catalogue of culture: art and empire (2003).
Pliny the elder, Histoire naturelle. Livre XXXV, la peinture, tr. and ed. J.M. Croisille and P.E. Dauzat (1997).
Pliny the elder, Peri tes archaeas Hellenices zographices (1994), tr. and ed. T. Roussos and A.V. Levides.
J. Isager, Pliny on art and society: the elder Pliny's chapters on the history of art (1991; rev. 1998).
Pliny the elder, The elder Pliny's chapters on the history of art (1896; rev. 1986; 2/1977).
G. Becatti, 'Plinio e Vasari', in Studi di storia dell'arte in onore di Valerio Mariani (1972).

Summary Note

This is the large-paper issue. In the same year the work was also issued in smaller size.

The part containing the Latin text is accompanied by extensive notes in French.

Pliny the elder's Naturalis Historia is the work of a polymath, surveying the physics of the universe, the physiology of mankind and other animals and the nature of human society. Books 33 to 37 are an account of minerals and their use in medicine and the arts, with a digression on the history of art. The chapters on the history of painting (35: 36) record much about Zeuxis, Parrhasius, Apelles and other artists and how they were estimated in Pliny's time.

The plates are captioned and show: (frontis.) 'Le Triomphe De La Peinture'; (at pag. 265) 'Alexander Magnus Ab Apelle Reprehensus'. The text is also decorated with a headpiece to the dedication.


An electronic reproduction was published in 2003 (Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale). Microfilm versions were published in 2001 (Woodbridge Conn.: Primary Source Microfilm [imprint of Gale Group]), 1997 (Woodbridge CT: Research Publications) and 1987 (London: British Library). A microfiche version was published in 1989 (Cambridge: Chadwyck-Healey).


The title page is inscribed in ink, 'Maria Callcott 1835'. The front loose endpaper is inscribed in ink, 'The bequest of Sr. Augs. W. Callcott'.

Copy Note

Marginal annotations in pencil are carried by pages 136 (in French) and 142 (in English).

Binding Note

18th-century mottled calf; gilt-decorated spine, spine lettered 'Pline Sur La Peinture'.

Name as Subject


Painting, Greek - Paintings, Greek - Painters, Greek - Artists - Artists' materials - Colours - Greece - History
Treatises, Latin - Art history - Art criticism - Rome - 1st century
Commentaries - Art history - Great Britain - 18th century


David Durand
Bernard Picart, source artist, draughtsman, engraver
Louis Chéron, draughtsman
Gerard van der Gucht, engraver
William Bowyer the elder, publisher
George I King of Great Britain, dedicatee
Lady Maria Callcott, previous owner
Sir Augustus Wall Callcott RA, previous owner, donor
William Bowyer the younger, printer