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Off the Shelf monthly program

A Race to Publication:

Athenian Monuments in the 18th Century
Ionic capital, detail
Detail from an Ionic column found in: Ruins of Athens: with remains and other valuable antiquities in Greece (1759) after Julien-David Le Roy (1758)

3-4PM, Friday, 5/31, Museum Library
3rd floor of the Academic Wing in the Penn Museum

In the middle of the 18th century, favorable diplomatic relations between Britain and the Ottoman Empire allowed two English architects, James Stuart and Nicholas Revett, to travel to Greece. They completed their survey of Athenian architectural monuments by 1753, but did not publish the first volume of their proposed three-volume folio until 1762. The French architect Julien-David Le Roy, after learning about their proposal and trip, hastened to Greece himself in 1755. He quickly published Les Ruines des plus Beaux Monuments de la Grèce by 1758, and an unauthorized English version, Ruins of Athens: with remains and other valuable antiquities in Greece, was published by Robert Sayer in 1759. For this Off the Shelf event, we will take a look inside some of these works and explore their aesthetic differences while delving deeper into the rivalry sparked between Stuart and Le Roy.

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