Restitution Du Temple D'Empédocle A Sélinonte, Ou L'Architecture Polychrôme Chez Les Grecs. Par J.J. Hittorff, Architecte. Avec Un Atlas.

Jakob Ignaz Hittorff

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Variant Title

Architecture Polychrôme Chez Les Grecs


Paris,: Librairie De Firmin Didot Frères, Imprimeurs De L'Institut, Rue Jacob, 56., M DCCC LI.

Physical Description

2 vols. [v.I: xxvi, 845, [1] p. - v.II: [6]p., front., 24 pl.]; [vol. I.] 290 mm. (Quarto); [vol. II.] 596 mm.


Vol. I: [Half-t., t.p., dedic.] - Avant-Propos - [Text] - Table Des Matières - Corrections Et Additions. - Vol. II: [Half-t., t.p.] - Architecture Polychrome Chez Les Grecs. Table Des Planches - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

All plates are signed as drawn by J.J. Hittorff; and lithographed by F. Kellerhoven, H. Roux or H. Roux ainé.

Each carries the imprint of the chromolithographers, Engelmann et Graf, Paris.

The work is dedicated by Hittorff to the memory of Jean-Antoine Letronne.


R.D. Middleton, 'Hittorff's polychrome campaign', in The Beaux-Arts and nineteenth-century French architecture, ed. R. Middleton (1982); Paris / Rome / Athènes: le voyage en Grèce des architectes français aux XIXe et XXe siècles, ed. M.C. Hellmann et al. [exhibition catalogue] (1982); D.D. Schneider, The works and doctrine of Jacques Ignace Hittorff 1792-1867 (2 v., 1977).

Summary Note

The subtitle given on the title page of Volume I, 'Architecture Polychrôme Chez Les Grecs', serves also as the half-title of Volume I and the title incorporated in the 'Frontispice' of Volume II. The title of Volume II replaces the words 'Avec Un Atlas' with the word 'Atlas', and the imprint 'Librairie De Firmin Didot Frères' with 'Typographie De Firmin Didot Frères'.

The frontispiece of Volume II carries the date of 1846.

The book is a belated presentation not only of Hittorff's reconstruction of the ancient Greek temples at Selinunte in Sicily but also of his theory that ancient temples had been brightly coloured - a theory which he had been propounding since the mid-1820s, when he returned from Sicily. The temples had first been excavated in 1823 by William Harris and Samuel Angel. They had been constructed in the sixth and fifth centuries B.C.

The text falls into four parts: 1. 'De La Découverture De L'Architecture Polychrôme Chez Les Grecs ...'; 2. 'Description De La Restitution Du Temple D'Empédocle ... De Sélinonte'; 3. 'Des Moyens Matériels Employés Dans L'Antiquité A L'Application De La Polychrômie ...'; 4. 'Explication Des Planches ...'.


29 December 1852: Ordered to purchase 'Hittorff's l'Architecture with Atlas, price 8 gns.' (RA Council Minutes, X, 429).

Binding Note

[Vol. I:] 19th-century half calf, marbled-papered boards; green morocco spine-label lettered 'Hittorff. Temple D'Empédocle', spine lettered 'R.A.' and 'Paris, 1851'.

[Vol. II:] 20th-century half calf, 19th-century marbled-papered boards; green morocco spine-label lettered 'Hittorff Temple D'Empédocle', spine lettered 'R.A.' and 'Paris 1851'.


Architecture, Greek - Polychromy - Applied decoration - Public buildings - Temples - Italy - Sicily - Selinunte - Greece - History - 6th century - 5th century
Art history - France - 19th century
Pictorial works - Lithographs - Colour printing - Chromolithographs - France - 19th century


Jakob Ignaz Hittorff, draughtsman
Hubert Roux, lithographer
Franz Kellerhoven, lithographer
Jean-Antoine Letronne, dedicatee
Firmin Didot Frères (Paris), publisher, printer, bookseller
Engelmann et Graf (Paris), lithographic printer

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