RARE. Voyage en Perse comprises two parts, Perse ancienne and Perse moderne, the latter providing one of the finest pictorial records of the country in the nineteenth century.
Pascal Coste (1787-1879), a Marseilles-born architect, had been employed by Mehmet Ali in Egypt in 1817.
In 1825 Coste returned to France with an impressive series of drawings of the architecture of Cairo, but he soon went to Egypt once again at Mehmet Ali’s request, where Mehmet Ali made him chief engineer for Lower Egypt. Coste remained there for four years, during which time he accumulated many sketches, but he found the Egyptian climate difficult and returned to France in 1829. There he became a professor of architecture at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
In parallel with this he travelled around France and to Germany, Belgium and Tunisia and produced several authoritative works on architecture – his Architecture arabe (1827) earned him a place on the French king’s embassy to the Shah of Iran. Accordingly, in 1840 Coste and the painter Eugène Flandin, in order to recover information on the evolution of the country under the reign of Mohammad Chah Qadjar, were authorised to visit Azerbaijan, Isfahan, Shiraz and the ruins of Ecbatana, Bistun, Taq-e Bostan, Kangavar, Pasargadae and Persepolis, where he made many sketches. On his return via Baghdad, he saw the ruins of Seleucia, Ctesiphon and Babylon. He continued via Nineveh, to which the archaeologist Paul Émile Botta was also travelling to begin his excavations. The result of these travels was the present work in which they recorded their detailed findings.
Eugene Napoleon Flandin (1803-1876), a student of Horace Vernet, was a French orientalist painter of history scenes, genre scenes, portraits, landscapes and urban landscapes.
6 volumes, (comprising one volume of text and 5 of plates), folio (60.5 x 44 cm. approx.), 344 plates, all volumes with half-titles, printed titles and contents leaves at end, the set comprising: Perse ancienne, one volume text and 4 volumes plates, 243 engraved plates (numbered 1-229, with 16 bis plates – nos. 17, 23, 26, 27, 31, 41, 122, 135, 148, 157, 164, 168, 181, 181 ter, 192 and 193; plate 150-151 joined as one plate, plate 187 never printed), 13 double-page, 2 printed in colour Perse moderne, one volume plates, engraved double-page map and 100 lithographed plates (numbered 1-100, 31 with two images), without the two 8vo text volumes (as often), contemporary calf-backed marbled boards gilt, neat repairs to spines (2 sometime rebacked preserving spines), occasional light spotting, an excellent set.
Wilson p.72; cf. Ghani p.641.
Stock ID: 96221