Homage to Rousseau: the English Garden at Ermenonville

Promenade ou Itinéraire des Jardins d'Ermenonville.

Paris: Paris: Mérigot père, 1788.

Price: $3,000.00

About the item

First edition. Illustrated with 25 aquatint plates engraved by Mérigot fils after his drawings, and 2 engraved plates of music. 68 pp. 1 vols. 8vo. Homage to Rousseau: the English Garden at Ermenonville. Contemporary tree calf with gilt-lettered spine. Some light wear to spine, internally a fresh copy, plates and text clean and crisp. Very good. Cohen-De Ricci 439; Hunt 695.

Item #229842

Beautiful copy of this classic illustrated account of the famous "English garden" - among the earliest of its kind on the Continent - designed by the Marquis Louis-René de Girardin in honor of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whose vision of nature inspired Girardin and who would spend the last 6 weeks of his life there until his death and burial in the park at Ermenonville in 1778.
Carefully conceived, designed and financed by Girardin with the aid of landscape architect Jean-Marie Morel, the painter Huber Robert, the Abbé Delille, and Scottish gardeners, the park was inspired along the model of the "jardin anglais", where nature is not subordinated to the gardener but is rather carefully allowed the freedom to develop its own natural charm and beauty. It was the first, or at least the most important, such garden on the Continent. Rousseau, who spent the last 6 weeks of his life there, is buried on the Isle of Poplars in the park's lake; his tomb there was designed by the painter Hubert Rober. The park itself is filled with numerous details evocative of the great philosophe and his works.
This account of the park - rare in such condition - was written by Louis-René's son, and is far more frequently seen in the second edition of 1811. This First edition, which appeared ten years after Rousseau's death, is rare; and, with its 25 masterful aquatint plates by Merigot, it is quite beautiful, illustrating the stunning vistas and rustic charms of the park which will forever be associated with the name of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.