THE PRINCIPLES OF PAINTING, by Roger de Piles - 1743 [1st English trans.]


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The Principles of Painting

to which is added The Balance of Painters

by Roger de Piles 

First English translation from the French.  London:  J. Osborn, 1743  

Hardback is overall in VERY GOOD- condition.

  • Full calf binding with gilt borders and ruled spine bands. 
  • Boards show age, wear, some dings, edgewear.  Corners are bumped and frayed, with exposed board.  See photos.
  • Spine has gilt ruled bands, no text, and is worn, with chipped ends.  See photos.  
  • Binding is intact but fragile.  Cover boards show signs of separation.  See photos.  
  • Pastedowns and feps have some staining at edges, writing on front fep, first three sheets show adhesion at gutter.  See photos.  
  • Illustrations - two engraved plates following pg. 66 and pg. 230 - are present.  See photos.  
  • Interior is gently age-toned, shows some paper warping.  Text quality is very nice. 
  • Inside pages are free of writing and intentional marks.
  • Text block edges have a few marks. 
  • PS2023.0323

300 pages. 4.75 x 7.75 inches

First English translation of Roger de Piles's treatise on painting, first published in French in 1708.  De Piles, a connossieur and collector, introduced the term "clair-obscur" (Chiaroscuro) into the vocabulary of aesthetics.  He used the term to highlight the effect of color in accentuating the tension between light and dark in a painting.

The Balance of Painters is appended to de Piles' text on painting.  It is a list of fifty-six major painters with whose work he had acquainted himself as a connoisseur during his travels.  To each painter in the list he gave marks from 0 to 18 for composition, drawing, color and expression. 

The translator is anonymous, identified only as "A Painter."

AS IS! Please see photos. More photos available upon request.

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