FOSSATI, Gaspard.


Aya Sofia Constantinople.

London, P. and D. Colnaghi & Co., 1852.

In stock


First edition of the first modern record of both the exterior and interior of Aya Sophia, ‘important for the understanding of this stupendous monument’ (Atabey). Court architect to the Russian royal family, Fossati travelled to Constantinople in 1837 to work on the building for the Russian Embassy. He completed the project in 1845 and entered the service of the Porte, designing the archives building, the telegraph-office, the hospital of the Ministry of War, as well as churches and private villas. In 1847, he was charged with the restoration of Aya Sophia; this took two years and involved the removal of buttresses which had been added to protect the structure and the uncovering of valuable mosaics. The mosaics were subsequently covered up and are not illustrated in the present work, Fossati planning to issue another book on the subject but this never materialised.


First edition. Large folio (63 x 45 cm). Large folio. Chromo-lithograph title, 6pp. and 25 tinted lithographs by Louis Haghe, original red morocco-backed moiré boards, lettered in gilt to spine and upper cover, light foxing to original tissue guards (as usual), an excellent example.


Abbey (Travel), 397; Atabey, 454; Blackmer, 619.


Stock ID: 98160