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Les Edifices Antiques De Rome Dessinés Et Mesurés Tres Exactement Par Antoine Desgodetz Architecte.

Antoine Babuty Desgodets

RA Collection: Book

Record number




A Paris: chez Iean Baptiste Coignard Imprimeur du Roy ruë St. Jacques a la Bible d'or., M.DC.LXXXII. avec Privilege de sa Majesté.

Physical Description

[12], 323, [1] p., engr. t.-pl.: illus.; 421 mm. (Folio).

General Note

All the illustrations are full- or double-page. They are page-numbered continuously with the text; but in addition each carries a Roman numeral, relating each group of illustrations to the monument described in the text (thus the Pantheon illustrations are numbered I-XXIII).


[T.pl., dedic.] - Preface - Table Des Chapitres; Nota - Additions Et Fautes A Corriger - Privilege Du Roy - [imprint] - [Text, with illus.].

Responsibility Note

The engraved title-plate and all but two of the illustrations are signed by A. Desgodetz as draughtsman. The title-plate is signed as engraved by Desgodetz; all other illustrations except two are signed by their various engravers: Lud. de Chastillon, le Clerc, I. le Pautre, N. Guerard, Brebes, N. Bonnart, De la Boissier, P. le Pautre, Tournier, A.D. Marotte. The work is dedicated by the author, Desgodetz, to Monseigneur Colbert, Marquis De Seignelay.


RIBA, Early printed books, 1 (1994), 858; National Gallery (Washington), Mark J. Millard, I (1993), no. 62, p.148-51; Johns Hopkins University, The Fowler Architectural Collection (1961), no. 102, p.84-5. W. Herrmann, 'Antoine Desgodets and the Académie Royale d'Architecture', in Art bulletin, 40 (1958 March), p. 23-53.

Summary Note

This was for long the most accurate record of the buildings of ancient Rome. After some two years of measuring (1674-6), Desgodetz had submitted his drawings to the Académie Royale in Paris in 1677, but it was not until 1694 that they were formally approved. In his preface Desgodetz points out dissimilarites between Vitruvian theory and actual remains, and inaccuracies in the measurements given by Palladio, Labacco, Serlio, Fréart de Chambray and François Blondel. Desgodetz describes the following buildings: Pantheon (23 illus.); 'Temple de Bacchus' [i.e. mausoleum of Constantia] (5); 'Temple de Faun' [i.e. church of S. Stefano rotonda] (2); 'Temple de Vesta' [i.e. the round temple on the Forum Boarium] (3); Temple de Vesta (Tivoli) (4); Temple de la Fortune Virile (4); 'Temple de la Paix' [i.e. the basilica of Constantine] (2); Temple d'Antonin (5); 'Temple de la Concorde' [i.e. temple of Saturn] (3); 'Temple de Jupiter Stator' [i.e. temple of the Dioscuri] (3); 'Temple de Jupiter Tonnant' [i.e. temple of Vespasian] (3); 'Temple de Mars le Vengeur' [i.e. temple of Minerva in the Forum of Nerva] (4); 'Frontispiece de Neron' [i.e. temple of the Sun on the Quirinal] (2); 'Basilique d'Antonin' [i.e. the Hadrianeum] (3); Place de Nerva (3); 'Portique de Septimius' [i.e. portico of Octavia] (5); Arc de Titus (8); Arc de Septimius (10); Arc des Orfévres (4); Arc de Constantin (9); Amphitheatre appellé le Colisée (13); Amphitheatre (Verone) (4); Theatre de Marcellus (5); Thermes de Diocletien (7), 'Bains de Paul Æmile' [i.e. markets of Trajan] (3). An English translation, The ancient buildings of Rome, was published in 1795.


Recorded in RAA Library, Catalogue, 1802.

Binding Note

18th-century mottled calf; rebacked in 20th century, gilt-decorated spine, brown morocco spine-label lettered 'Desgodetz's Antiques De Rome'.


Architecture, Roman - Temples - Triumphal arches - Monuments - Amphitheatres - Baths - Public buildings - Italy - Rome - History
Art history - France - 17th century
Pictorial works - France - 17th century