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Architectural Studies, Antiquity and Baroque, Fischer von Erlach, Set of 4 Antique Prints, Austria, 18th Century

Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach (1656-1723) (after)
Johann Adam Delsenbach (1687-1765) (engraver)
No. 8, [Two Greek Vases and Temple in Athens]
No. 9, [Two Roman Vases and Temple on the Aventine Hill in Rome]
No. 10, [Two Greek Vases from the Hall of Antiquities at Munich]
No. 12 [Two Vases and Building in Vienna Designed by Fischer von Erlach]
from Entwurff einer historischen Architectur
[Design of Historical Architecture]
Vienna: 1721 or Leipzig: 1725
Engravings
11.75 x 17 inches each, sight size
23.5 x 28.5 inches each, framed

Four framed engravings of large decorative vases in garden settings with related buildings. Each engraving presents two vases in the foreground, set on stone pillars overlooking a broad vista centered on a temple or palace in the background, and people strolling the grounds. The engravings give the vase titles in French, with captions in the lower margin in French and German. The prints come from the concluding volume of Entwurff einer historischen Architectur, a five-volume work by the influential Austrian architect, Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, considered the first successful comparative study of architecture. That fifth volume contains 13 plates of various antique Egyptian, Greek, and Roman vases, along with more recent examples including a few designed by Fischer von Erlach. The inclusion of a series of vase designs in a work on architecture reflects an era where architects routinely designed decorative or functional objects as part of their practice.

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Description

On the whole, Entwurff einer historischen Architectur is a manifestation of a fascination with ancient and non-European civilizations that arose in Europe during the late 17th century and became widespread during the 18th century. The first edition of the work, dedicated by the author to Charles VI, ruler of the Holy Roman Empire (1685-1740), was published in Vienna in 1721. A second edition, published in Leipzig, appeared in 1725, and a third edition, translated into English, appeared in 1730. The second edition has been scanned in its entirety and can be viewed online at Archive.org (see References).

Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach was an Austrian architect, sculptor and architectural historian, who designed many of the Habsburg Empire’s Baroque masterpieces and was highly influential in shaping the tastes of his era. His style synthesized classical, Renaissance and southern Baroque elements to arrive at a new and unique solution to each architectural situation. Major works include the Church of the Holy Trinity and University Church in Salzburg, and the Winter Palace of Prince Eugene de Savoy and the palace of Count Batthyány in Vienna. Fischer studied sculpture and architecture in Rome under Gian Lorenzo Bernini, where he focused on Roman, Renaissance and Baroque styles. After about 16 successful years in Italy, he returned to Austria and began a brilliant career as court architect to three successive Habsburg emperors. He received numerous commissions for his innovative designs of country houses, which also influenced the architects of his time. Though of humble origins as the son of a provincial sculptor and artisan, Fischer von Erlach received recognition for his achievements as court architect by being raised to the nobility in 1696. In the first decades of the 18th century he took on administrative duties as chief inspector of court buildings and worked on his great history of architecture, Entwurff einer historischen Architectur (1721).

Full titles, captions and publication information:

No. 8. Vase de Bacchantes. Vase de Dieux marins. Zwei Griechische Vases, und der Temple der Gütten Götter genant, so zu Athen gestanden./ Duex Vases Grecs, et le Temple des Bons-Dieux à Athenes. J. B. F. v E. delineavit. Cum Privil. Sacr. Caesar Majest. [Vase of Bacchantes/ Vase of Marine Gods. Two Greek Vases and the Temple of Good Gods at Athens. Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach drew it. With the privilege of the Holy Roman Emperor.]

No. 9. Vase de Cleopatre. Vase de la Victoire. Zwei Romanische Vesas und der Tempel der gütten Götter, welcher auf dem Berg Aventino gestanden./ Deux Vases Romains et le Temple de Bons Dieux qui étoient sur la montagne d’Aventino. [Vase of Cleopatra/ Vase of Victory. Two Roman vases and the Temple of the Good Gods that were on the Aventine Hill [in Rome]. J. B. F v. E. del. C.P.S.C.M. Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach drew it. With the privilege of the Holy Roman Emperor.]

No. 10. Zwei Griechische Vesase, deren eines den Ludis Scenicis, das andere dem Asculapio gewiedmet bende von Marmora us dem Antiquieteten Saal zu München. Samt einem Entwurff eines Lust-Gebaudes./ Duex Vases Grecs de Marbre dans la Sale des antiques a Muchen; Don’t l’un est dediè au Theatre, l’autre a Asculape Avec un projet d’une Maison de plaisance. [Two Greek Vases of Marble in the Hall of Antiquities at Munich; one is dedicated to the Theater, the other to [the mythological god] Asculape with a prospect of a country house.]

No. 12. Vase de Ceres. Vase du Soleil. Prospect des hinteren Gebäudes in dem Fürst. Liechtenstainischen Garten zu Wienn, wie es zu erst von I.B.F.v.E. inventieri, und gezeichnet worden./ Veüe du Bâtiment au bout du Jardin du Prince de Lichtenstain à Vienne, comme il a été premierement inventé et dessiné par J.B.F.d’E. [Vase of Ceres. Vase of the Sun. View of the building at the end of the garden of the Prince of Lichtenstein in Vienna, how it was first created and designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach.]

Condition: Each very good with the usual overall light toning, wear. Custom gilt wood frames by House of Heydenryk very good with light wear.

References:

Aurenhammer, Hans. “Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach.” Britannica.com. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Johann-Bernhard-Fischer-von-Erlach (28 September 2018).

Entwurff Einer Historischen Architectur. Leipzig: 1725. pp. 228-232, 236. Online at Archive.org: https://archive.org/details/Entwurffeinerhi00Fisc/page/n5 (28 September 2018).

“Entwurff Einer Historischen Architectur…” Royal Academy. https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/art-artists/book/entwurff-einer-historischen-architectur

“Entwurff Einer Hstorischen Architektur.” Victoria & Albert Museum. 2018. http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O111917/entwurf-einer-historischen-architektur-print-fischer-von-erlach/ (27 September 2018).

Smentek, Kristel. “Introduction. Buildings and objects: the Rococo and after.” Journal of Art Historiography. No. 9. December 2013. https://arthistoriography.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/smentek-intro.pdf (27 September 2018).