London: Printed by John Darby for the Author [Leoni], 1721. Second edition. Folio, four parts in one volume. , 54; , 57-93, ; , 37; , 41-90,  pp. With an engraved portrait of Palladio and an engraved allegorical frontispiece by Bernard Picart after Sebastiano Ricci, 203 architectural plates (some double-page) including elevations, plans, and designs, plus 12 engraved illustrations in the text. Atlas folio, 460 x 285 mm, bound in full contemporary English red morocco, richly gilt with fleurs-de-lys and crowns, spine richly gilt, green label, a.e.g. Blue half morocco folding case. Very good. Item #3719
A superb copy of Leoni's sumptuous edition of Palladio's Architecture, which was the first complete edition in English of all four books, and the first to contain worthwhile engraved copies of the original woodcut illustrations. Leoni's Palladio had a strong influence on contemporary architects, and launched the Palladian revival. The present engravings, which were executed by the best trade engravers of the period (Picart, Harris, Cole, and Van der Gucht), stimulated admiration for Palladio and inspired British architectural ambition for a new age.
The translation by Nic. DuBois was made to the order of Giacomo Leoni (1686-1746) who had personally "revised" and "redrawn" the original woodcut plates in light of his own baroque tastes. This edition was originally published 1715-19 for subscribers only; according to RIBA, "stocks of the first two books were exhausted almost as soon as the work was complete in 1720," thus warranting the appearance of the present Second Edition.
The influence of Palladio's work, especially on English eighteenth-century architecture, can hardly be overestimated. Palladio's use of classical motifs originated from his extensive study of Roman architecture. His genius was in recombining elements of Roman design for contemporary needs, while maintaining concern for harmonious proportion; his facades, noted for their often extreme austerity, are models of elegance and repose. Joints brilliantly strengthened, overall a spectacularly fresh and spotless copy. This is as fine of a copy as one could hope to obtain.
Fowler 224. Berlin Katalog 2598. Harris 684.