Principes de Paysage, pour apprendre à dessiner et colorer à l'aquarelle. Premier [-Quatrième] cahier. Gabriel Ludwig LORY, Mathias Gabriel.

Principes de Paysage, pour apprendre à dessiner et colorer à l'aquarelle…
Principes de Paysage, pour apprendre à dessiner et colorer à l'aquarelle. Premier [-Quatrième] cahier.

Paris: Bance aîné, 1809.

Four parts, folio, in original printed wrappers with explanatory text on the inner front wrapper and containing 37 aquatint plates, 27 of which are coloured; in very fine condition as issued.

Landscape painting in watercolour demonstrated in aquatint printing

Extremely rare first edition of this series of studies composed by father and son, Gabriel Ludwig Lory (1763-1840) and Mathias Gabriel Lory (1784-1846), both artists, engravers and above all painters of Swiss landscapes, the genre in which they made their reputation. Originally from Berne, they worked for some years in Neuchâtel. This splendid series of four wrappered folios, containing nine or ten aquatinted plates each, sets out to show how landscape depiction in watercolour should proceed from outline to finished work, demonstrating the colour effects by aquatint printing. Its 37 plates show the progression through four or five stages of colouring from outline and subsequent stages to a fully coloured version. Conceived as an instructional series for advanced watercolourists this also succeeds as a bravura demonstration of aquatint printing. Each section has a long printed discussion piece on the inner front wrapper while the inner rear wrapper contains instructions, particularly relating to colour effects, specific to the images in that part. We have not traced a record of this work in any institutional library.

Extremely rare first edition of this series of studies composed by father and son, Gabriel Ludwig Lory (1763-1840) and Mathias Gabriel Lory (1784-1846), both artists, engravers and above all painters of Swiss landscapes, the genre in which they made their reputation. Originally from Berne, they worked for some years in Neuchâtel. This splendid series of four wrappered folios, containing nine or ten aquatinted plates each, sets out to show how landscape depiction in watercolour should proceed from outline to finished work, demonstrating the colour effects by aquatint printing. Its 37 plates show the progression through four or five stages of colouring from outline and subsequent stages to a fully coloured version. Conceived as an instructional series for advanced watercolourists this also succeeds as a bravura demonstration of aquatint printing. Each section has a long printed discussion piece on the inner front wrapper while the inner rear wrapper contains instructions, particularly relating to colour effects, specific to the images in that part. We have not traced a record of this work in any institutional library.

Although by Swiss artists, the work was published in Paris and appeared at a time of great interest for the colour depiction of landscape: in terms of voyage history this was the early period of the grands voyages, appearing during the publication period of the Baudin voyage (1807-1816), the start of an era of magnificently and copiously illustrated such publications, and at a time when European topographical works were reaching a high point.

The Lorys themselves achieved great results in this area: during their time in Neuchâtel they worked with the publisher Ostervald between 1805 and about 1812. Their very well-known Voyage pittoresque de Genève à Milan par le Simplon dates from this period, and the Voyage pittoresque dans la vallée de Chamouni et autour du Montblanc from a few years later. F.C. Lonchamp wrote about their work (in Bibliographie générale des ouvrages publiés ou illustrés en Suisse et à l'étranger de 1475 à 1914, Paris, 1922, pp. 157-58) that "To Gabriel-Ludwig Lory... and to his son Mathias Lory... belongs the honour of having published the best collections of views - with which only those of J.-J. Wetzel bear comparison - which have ever been published by Swiss artists". Listing four works illustrated by them he concluded that "The views of these Voyages are all interesting and of a superb and pleasant quality. Their interpretation, through aquatint and coloring, indicates such refinement of thoroughness and such a keen understanding of values, that it would be foolhardy to desire anything of more careful and perfect execution".

Published in Paris, the four parts were also available directly from the Lorys in Switzerland: their addition to the imprint reads"Dessinées et Gravés par LORY, Père et Fils, à Neuchâtel, en Suisse".

Provenance: Private collection (Europe).

Lonchamp, 1853; Conrad Mandach, "Deux peintres suisses: Gabriel Lory le père (1763–1840) et Gabriel Lory le fils (1784–1846)", Lausanne 1920.

Price (AUD): $26,500.00  other currencies Ref: #4505161