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The Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, Athens.

Le Roy, Julien David Le Roy Arh.te de.l in Greciâ. Le Bas Sculp. View of the Lantern of Demosthenes, Athens. "Vue de la Lanterne de Demosthene à Athenes." Paris chez H.L. Guerin & L.F. Delatour, J.L. Nyon/ Jean Neaulme 1758
Copper engraved view the" Lantern of Demosthenes "or Lysicrates Monument, Athens from Le Roy's "Les Ruines des Plus Beaux Monuments de la Grece ." Black and white, verso blank.

The view shows the monument as part of the French Capuchin monastry, with a group of musicians and dancers in the street.

The monastry founded in 1658, succeeded in purchasing the monument,in 1669 when it was being called the "Lantern of Diogenes" after the famous Athenian cynic philosopher of the 4th century BC.
A reading of its inscription by Jacob Spon established its original purpose. and that it was was erected by the choregos Lysicrates, a wealthy patron of musical performances in the Theater of Dionysus, to commemorate the award of first prize in 335/334 BC to one of the performances he had sponsored. [The choregos was the sponsor who paid for and supervised the training of the dramatic dance-chorus.]
It was erected in the Street of the Tripods an ancient road that led from the sanctuary of Dionysos around the east and northeast sides of the Acropolis and the monument is adorned with a frieze depicting episodes of the life of Dionysus, the god whose rites developed into Greek theatre. (In the Middle Ages, the monument also acquired the nickname "Lantern of Demosthenes" from the erroneous belief that the 4h century orator composed his speeches there.)

Lord Byron stayed at the Capuchin monastery during his second visit to Greece. In 1818, friar Francis planted in its gardens the first tomato plants in Greece. In 1821 the convent, which had enclosed the monument, used as a storage for books, was burned during the Ottoman occupation of Athens, and subsequently demolished, and the monument was inadvertently exposed to the weather. In 1829, the monks offered the structure to an Englishman on tour, but it proved to be too cumbersome to disassemble and ship. Lord Elgin negotiated unsuccessfully for the monument, by then an icon in the Greek Revival.

French archaeologists cleared the rubble from the half-buried monument and searched the area for missing architectural parts. In 1876–1887, the architects François Boulanger and E. Loviot supervised a restoration under the auspices of the French government. Bright dark impression; light foxing ,mainly to blank margins.

Julien David Le Roy (1724-1803) was a French architect and archaeologist.
"Les Ruines des Plus Beaux Monuments de la Grece," issued in 1758, first revealed to European eyes the wonders of Greek classical architecture. Overnight, Greece became the rage, much to the chagrin of Giovanni Battista Piranesi and other defenders of the genius of Rome. Le Roy was to become engaged in a strong rivalry with Society of Dillitanti members James Stuart and Nicholas Revett, particularly to produce the first professional description of the Acropolis since that of by Antoine Desgodetz published in 1682.

A winner of the Prix de Rome in 1750, Julien-David Le Roy was a historian and pensionnaire at the French Academy in Rome, where he had the opportunity to study its architecture firsthand. It was there that he learned of Stuart and Revett's proposed book and their trip to Greece in 1751-1753. Receiving permission from the Ottoman Turks in Constantinople, he himself hurried to Athens early in 1755, where for three hectic months he surveyed and drew the principal classical monuments there, including those on the Acropolis.
Stuart and Revett had been researching Athens since 1748 but Le Roy had an advantage in accessing the ruins due to good relations between France and the Ottoman Empire. Le Roy's studies,were supported by the Comte de Caylus and his art circle. The finest engravers and architects were recruited to produce the illustrations'

Published in advance of Stuart's and Revett's "Antiquities of Athens", which appeared in 1762, Le Roy's work introduced the architecture of classical Athens to Western Europe. Le Roy's work provoked strident criticism from Stuart' in the preface to "Antiquities of Athens", Stuart declared that he, at least, was determined "to avoid Haste, and System, those most dangerous enemies to accuracy and fidelity, for we had frequently, with great regret, observed their bad effects in many, otherwise excellent, Works of this kind." Railing against Le Roy, every misunderstanding and inaccuracy were itemized. There were insinuations of plagiarism and charges that descriptions had been taken from others and not made directly, as well as failures to recognize monuments for what they were (e.g., the gateway to the Roman Agora and Hadrian's Library). On his own admission Le Roy was less concerned with precise measuring and recording than he was with conveying the soul of the antiquities, showing them the context of their surroundings

With the publication of "Les Ruines", Le Roy was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Architects. Stuart's criticisms were sufficiently pointed that Le Roy felt obliged to publish a response ("Observations sur les édifices des anciens peuples") and, in 1770, a second edition of his work—this time with footnotes, quotations in Greek and Latin, and references. There also was a riposte to Stuart, who, he felt, saw the only merit of publishing a book on Greek monuments as providing their exact measurements—and doing so too often.

"The ruins of antiquity may be looked at in widely differing ways. In publishing them, one may undertake no more than a slavish record of their dimensions; and the most scrupulous accuracy in doing so is, in Mr. Stuart's opinion, almost the only merit that a book of this kind can possess. My journey, I confess, was undertaken with very different ends in view; I would never have traveled to Greece simply to observe the relations of the buildings and their parts with the subdivisions of our foot. Such a claim to fame I gladly resign to anyone who desires it and aspires to nothing higher....As for the vast quantity of plates with which works of the present kind are sometimes laden, these often convey nothing to the public beyond the industry or the want of taste of those who have measured the monuments" (Preface, Vol. I).

In the much-expanded edition of 1770,Le Roy wrote two highly provocative theoretical essays. In one,he set forth a compelling linear history of the conceptual forms of architecture that began in Egypt, moved to Greece, then Rome, and finally modern Europe. In the other, seeking to express the experience of architectural form and its effects, Le Roy gave new voice to feeling.
Blackmer/ Navari :1009; Atabey 709;Cohen de-Ricci 627. 310 by 465mm (12¼ by 18¼ inches).   ref: 2267  €850

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