About aesthetics in fine arts and colour harmony, 1858
Friedrich Wilhelm UNGER: DIE BILDENDE KUNST [FINE ARTS]. With 4 lithographic plates. Göttingen: 1858.
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Friedrich Wilhelm UNGER: DIE BILDENDE KUNST [FINE ARTS]. Ästhetische Betrachtungen über Architektur, Sculptur und Malerei für Künstler und Kunstfreunde. [Aesthetic reflections on architecture, sculpture and painting, for artists and art lovers.] With 4 lithographic plates after drawings, of which 1 coloured, as well as numerous text woodcuts. Göttingen: Georg H. Wigand (E. A. Huth) 1858. 8vo. (21:13,5 cm) 4 plates, VII, 253 [3 (publisher’s ads] pages. Chromolithography, lithography, woodcut and letterpress on thin machine paper, skilfully bound in new half cloth using contemporary material, original publisher’s front wrapper with decorative title printing bound in.
First and only edition of this hard to find and strikingly illustrated treatise on aesthetics for use in fine arts and architecture, with a strong focus on colour harmony.
Contents, Illustration: Friedrich Wilhelm Unger (1810-76), a librarian at the Göttingen University, habilitated jurist and art historian, published in particular on the subject of colour theory, the present treatise being his core work. Already in 1852 his article on »Investigations on the Law of Colour Harmony« (published in Poggendorf’s »Annalen der Physik«, vol. LXXXVII) had attracted attention. Two years later Unger launched a „Disque chrom-harmonique pour servir à expliquer les règles de l’harmonie des couleurs“, of which, according to Poggendorf, only a few copies were distributed. Plate no. 4 of present work, a colour drawing by the author reproduced in chromolithography depicting a composition of schematic discs strikingly visualising rules of colour harmony, is a follow up to this disc.
Condition: With slight foxing throughout, especially at rear side of plates, first as well as last sheets and edges, generally a collectable copy in a tasteful binding.
Rarity: Seldomly available in trade, no copy at the market as of Nov. 2021; JAP/APO and RBH document 2 auction records only for the last 30 years (1995, 1992).
Reference: Poggendorf I (1863), S. 548 and Killy, DBE, Bd. 10 (1990) cf. WBIS/DBA.