FRAGMENTS OF RUINS, Charles Percier

FRAGMENTS OF RUINS, Charles Percier

c. 1764 to c. 1868 France

Offered by Charles Plante Fine Arts

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Returning to France in c.1790, Percier and Fontaine became known for decorative designs, wall-paper, furniture, and stage sets. During the Revolution, Fontaine went to England where he saw the crisp ornamental work of Robert Adam which was to influence the style which he and Percier were later to adopt. Returning to Paris, they worked with their devoted friend, Claude-Louis Bernier, on their book, Palais, Maisons..., which they dedicated to Joséphine, the future Empress. She introduced them in 1799 to Napoleon who appointed Fontaine Architecte du gouvernement in January 1801.

This book concentrated on the late-fifteenth and sixteenth-century domestic work of antique-inspired architects such as Vignola and Peruzzi, though more recent work was also included. Behind their choice and representation of ornament lay the engraved work of GB Piranesi and the fluent watercolours of ancient buildings and of ruins, often imaginary, by Charles-Louis Clérisseau who had taught draughtsmanship and water-colour technique to both Chambers and Adam. Like Adam's publications of the 1770s, it was a polemical work in which they promoted their new style in text and illustration, including house elevations, views of interiors, details of doors, and views of gardens. Though the carved fragments may be of antique inspiration, they are shown in modern, that is Renaissance, loggias or gardens. Their seductive images of antique architecture seen as ornament proved so successful that the book, reprinted in 1810 and 1830, replaced eighteenth-century books of ornament for craftsmen.
The Ian Woodner Collection; Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox, London
Dimensions
Height 210.00 mm (8.27 inches)
Width 184.00 mm (7.24 inches)
Medium
Watercolour over pen and black ink
Signed/Inscribed
Engraved (titlepage): Charles Percier and P-F-L Fontaine, Palais, Maisons, et Autres Edifices Modernes Dessin's e Rome, Paris, 1798 (plate 20)
Charles Plante Fine Arts

Charles Plante Fine Arts
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