Les Ruines Des Plus Beaux Monuments De La Grèce: Ouvrage Divisé En Deux Parties, Où L'On Considere, Dans La Premiere, Ces Monuments Du Côté De L'Histoire; Et Dans La Seconde, Du Côté De L'Architecture. Par M. Le Roy, Architecte, ancien Pensionnaire du Roi à Rome, & de l'Institut de Bologne.

Julien-David Le Roy

RA Collection: Book

Record number




A Paris,: Chez H. L. Guerin & L. F. Delatour, rue Saint Jacques. Jean-Luc Nyon, Libraire, quai des Augustins., A Amsterdam,: Jean Neaulme, Libraire., M. DCC. LVIII. Avec Approbation Et Privilege Du Roi.

Physical Description

xiv, 56, [2], vi, 28 p., 28, 32 pl.; 555 mm. (Broadsheet).


[T.p., dedic.] - Préface - Discours Sur L'Histoire De L'Architecture Civile - Les Ruines Des Plus Beaux Monuments De La Grèce. Première Partie. - Dissertation Sur La Longeur Du Pied Grec ... - Inscriptions Grecques Que L'On Trouve Encore Sur Les Monuments ... - Les Ruines Des Plus Beaux Monuments De La Grece. Seconde Partie: Discours Sur la nature des Principes de l'Architecture civile - Les Ruines Des Plus Beaux Monuments De La Grece. Seconde Partie - Table De Ce Qui Est Contenu Dans Cet Ouvrage; Corrections, Changements ou Additions - Approbation; Privilege Du Roi; Avis Au Relieur - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

All plates are signed as drawn by Le Roy. All in the first sequence (1-28) are signed as engraved by Le Bas, apart from four signed as engraved by Littret de Montigny (3, 9, 16, 26). Those in the second sequence (1-32) are signed as engraved by Neufforge or Patte, apart from pl. 21, which is unsigned by an engraver.

The work is dedicated by Le Roy to the Marquis de Marigny.


RIBA, Early printed books, 2 (1995), no. 1875; National Gallery (Washington), Mark J. Millard, I (1993), no. 101, p.299-301; D. Wiebenson, 'Origins and variations of the concept "Greek" in French architectural theory', in La Grecia antica, ed. J. Raspi Serra (1991), p. 131-46; D. Constantine, Early Greek travellers and the Hellenic ideal (1984); A. Braham, The architecture of the French Enlightenment (1980); D. Wiebenson, Sources of Greek Revival architecture (1969).

Summary Note

Le Roy advertised his book as modelled on Robert Wood's The Ruins of Palmyra of 1753 ('le superbe livre'). Reaching Greece after Stuart and Revett, he travelled through Pula, Istanbul, Delos, Athens, Corinth and Sparta (1754-5). In his book he presents first his travels, then his exposition of ancient Greek architecture - suggesting that Vitruvius's theory of proportion should be re-examined, and giving a detailed history of the Doric and Ionic orders.

The first sequence of plates shows mainly picturesque views (these are captioned). The second shows plans, sections and elevations of the buildings (uncaptioned).

In 1759 an English abridgment and adaptation of the book was published, as Ruins Of Athens, With Remains And Other Valuable Antiquities In Greece (translated into German and Latin in 1764). In 1762 Stuart and Revett brought out the first volume of their own Antiquities of Athens; in which they noted some inaccuracies in Le Roy. This prompted a response from Le Roy (1764), and a second edition of his Ruines (1770).


Acquired between 1769 and 1802. Recorded in RAA Library, Catalogue, 1802.

Binding Note

19th-century half calf, green cloth-covered boards; rebacked in 20th century, brown morocco spine-label lettered 'Le Roy Monuments De La Grece'.

Name as Subject


Architecture, Greek - Antiquities, Greek - Ruins - Greece - Athens - History
French - Archaeology - Expeditions - Greece - History - 18th century
Views - Plans - Elevations - Sections - France - 18th century
Pictorial works - France - 18th century


Images from this book

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