Choisuel-Gouffier's Magnificent 18th century Travel to Greece and the Coasts of Asia Minor.
CHOISEUL-GOUFFIER, Marie-Gabriel-Florent-Auguste, comte deVoyage pittoresque de la Grèce.Voyage pittoresque de la Grèce. Tome premier. Paris J. J. Blaise 1782
Folio; Engraved allegorical title,  xvi (letterpress title) pp 204 . Directions to binder on rear paste down. Full calf; spine gilt; 6 raised bands; labels. With copper engraved vignette title, 13 maps, 2 of them folding, 32 full-page views, 27 sheets of half-page plates, maps and plans, 29 full-page plates (largely of architectural details), 4 costume illustrations on 1 sheet and 14 illustrative head- and tail-pieces. Tissue guards to plates. First edition, first issue, (the Discours Préliminaireconcluding on the fourth line of page xvi.) of Choiseul-Gouffier's magnificent Voyage pittoresque de la Grèce . Based on Choiseul Gouffier´s own account of his travel in 1776 as member of Marquis de Chabert´s expedition for mapping the Eastern Mediterranean. First Volume only, complete in itself, it would later be reissued with a second volume in two parts published in 1809 and 1822. From Toulon, the French frigate Atalante sailed to Sardinia, Malta and Sicily, and put in at the port of Coroni. Then followed the islands of Cimolos, Melos, Siphnos, Sicinos, Ios, Santorini, Naxos, Tenos, Syros, Delos, Paros, Antiparos, Scyros, Lemnos, Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Patmos, Cos, Rhodes and Symi. The party then crossed over to Çesme opposite Chios, and Macre (pres. Fethiye), continuing their tour in western Asia Minor, visiting Telmessos, Mylassa, Stratonike, Bodrum-Halicarnassus, Iassos, Heraclea by Latmus, Didyma, Priene, Miletus, Ephesus, Teos and Smyrna.
The work was a considerable success and led to Choiseul- Gouffier's rise in cultural and political France culminating in 1784, when Choiseul-Gouffier was elected a member of the Académie Française and was appointed Ambassador of France to the Sublime Porte by Louis XVI, where he would remain until removed by the French revolutionary government in 1792 and went into exile in Russia where he would become director of the Academy of Arts and Imperial Library for Catherine the Great Whilst ambassador to the Sublime Porte he used the opportunity to further his archeological and other researches with the aid of amongst others Louis François Cassas, J B Le Chevalier and Anse de Villoison. Eventually returning to France from exile in 1802 he began work on the second, supplementary, volume which was published in two parts, the first in 1809, and the "final biographical livraison was published posthumously" in 1822. [Blackmer/ Navari] Some chipping of head cap and tail of spine; joints starting; corners bumped. Tear to front free endpaper; candle wax to lower edge of allegorical title; light damp stain to lower gutter of chapter 6, pages 97-112. Very occasional minor spotting; page with plates 95 & 6 toned; small hole to margin of half plate 97, due to candle wax.
CHOISEUL-GOUFFIER, Marie-Gabriel-Florent-Auguste, comte de (1752-1817). was a French nobleman, traveller and diplomat, born in Paris. He was greatly influenced by Abbé Barthélemy, the academician and fervent admirer of ancient Greek culture, who wrote the famous historical fiction Le Voyage du jeune Anacharsis en Grèce. However, at the time the young count reached adulthood classical studies were highly developed in Europe and the new trend was to get to know the ancient past not only through reading the texts but also by visiting the actual historical locations. The first archaeological missions, such as the excavations in Pompeii, conducted by the Society of Dilettanti, had already been organized.
In 1776, at the age of twenty-four, Choiseul-Gouffier sailed from Toulon, aboard the frigate Atalante, on his first voyage to Greece. His aim was twofold, to delineate ancient monuments and to describe the modern Greeks' way of life. Fruit of this first year-long journey, was the publication in 1782 of the first volume of his monumental work Voyage pittoresque de la Grèce. A novel feature of the work is that the image holds pride of place, bringing the magical world of the East alive for the European reader. .. accompanied by explanatory texts, as well as a patently philhellenic preface. In 1784, Choiseul-Gouffier was elected a member of the Académie Française and was appointed Ambassador of France to the Sublime Porte by Louis XVI. He arrived in Constantinople in July 1785, thus making a second journey to the East, this time as diplomatic envoy of the French king to the sultan. He was accompanied by a large entourage of archaeologists, painters, draftsmen, engravers, astronomers and other scientists, who carried out rigorous research in mainland Greece and the islands, which lasted several years. However, in his new position, as representative of France and for diplomatic reasons, he adopted a different attitude towards the Greeks. In the second year of the French Revolution, following the decision of the Convention, Louis XVI ordered the recall of Choiseul-Gouffier from the Ottoman capital and his transfer to the French embassy in London. As a royalist, Choiseul-Gouffier refused to obey the order and resigned his post. He took refuge in the court of Catherine II of Russia, where he remained for almost a decade (1793-1802), and was appointed director of the Academy of Arts and Imperial Public Library of Russia.[ Ioli Vingopoulou;Travelogues Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation]
Blackmer/ Navari: 342; Atabey 241; 505 by 350mm (20 by 13¾ inches).
ref: 2998 €8000