Le Roy, David
Ruins Of Athens With Remains And Other Valuable Antiquities In Greece — London, 1759 [Cicognara, 2706]

Page: I
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License: Public Domain Mark Use / Order
1 cm
E ■ F A C E.

; H E great Ideas formed from confulting ancient Authors in their
Defcriptions of the famous Edifices in Greece, and the little Im-
provement or Certainty to be obtained of their real Excellence,
from confulting modern Travellers, was the Motive, and no doubt
a very proper one, which induced Monf. Le Roy, a Frenchman, to
vifit the once fo famed City of Athens : Who, there affifted by Royal Munifi-
cence and every other Requifite which could aid his own great Genius, has
removed the Fable of Antiquity 5 and, by Reprefentation, not only given us the
prefent Situation of the Remains of thofe valuable Monuments, but, likewife,
from his painful Refearches into the various and juft Proportions, filled our Imagi-
nations with their former Beauty and Magnificence; and, at the fameTime, by his
Rules and Obfervations, given us many LefTons for eafy and perfect imitation.

And though we gladly acknowledge the Benefits received from Meff. Wood and
Dawkins, yet we cannot but lament that their elegant Defigns are without fuch
Obfervations as muft occur in thofe Treaiures of Antiquity, which might improve
or affift the beft Architect of our Time.

In this, Le Roy has been very ample, and well deferves our Thanks. The
Necefiity of fuch a Procedure will be' found on comparing the Sheets before us,
in which will appear a vaft Difference between the Proportion Elegance, and Ufe
of the ancient Edifices, and thofe to be met with in the beft Structures of our
Time. And many great Lights are thrown on fome feeming obfcure PalTages of
Vitruvius, who, having drawn his Judgment in Architecture from thofe pure
Fountains of Antiquity, tranfmitted that Knowledge to Pofterity in an unpolluted
Stream 5 which, if it had defcended fo to us, would no doubt have well anfwered
the Purpofe of Inftru&ion intended by that great Mafter. Whether to Negli-
gence or Defign, we may afcribe it, cannot be determined, but this may be
averred, that even his beft Commentators are extremely incorrect and inconfiftent,
and fo deviate from his Defign in Architecture, that there is rarely now to be met
with the leaft Compofition deferving his Name; the fupplying of which Lofs,
as alio an Attempt to reftore Architecture to its ancient Dignity, are intended
by the enming Work. A Work it is hoped, executed in fuch a Manner (no In-
quiry, Labour or Expence having been fpared) as to adorn the Libraries of the
Learned and Curious ; and, at the fame Time, capable of aiding the Student,
and affifting the Mafter, even to acquire in that Science what may be termed the

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