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angkor vat central temple

Le temple d’Içvarapura

Origin / Date Paris, 1926
Material Paper
Dimensions Large Quarto
Availability Sold


Finot, Louis (with Victor Goloubew et Henri Parmentier), Le temple d’Içvarapura (Banteay Srei, Cambodge), Paris, EFEO (Mémoires archéologiques, 1) 1926, G.Van Oest &Co;.

Text in French. x, 138 pp., 14 figures in the text, with 72 plates of which 56 collotypes, 20 rubbings of inscriptions (3 fold-out) and 17 line drawings / plans (some double page). Original paper covers. First Edition.  This initial study of the most important temple of Angkor Wat was completed only a decade or so after the temple’s rediscovery and examines its history, architecture and sculptural program in a pioneering manner. Uncut and unused, mint.

[EFEO Memoires Archeologiques Tome I]. Tome II of this new series became the seven volume study of the whole temple complex which became one of the most important and beautifully illustrated research projects of its kind.


Gerard Van Oest was perhaps the last genius of the heroic age of publishing which I would venture had ended by the 1960s. His books are incomparably satisfying to hold and behold: the weight and size, even when it is, as often, a large quarto, the strength and suppleness of the paper used, also for the wrappers, its sheer tactile (and visual because non-reflective) pleasure, the ease with which it opens flat in the hand, the beauty and legibility of the precise and sharp type, the rational margin sizes and layout, the peerless illustrations, their sheer generous number and intelligent placement, both the quality of the photography and the brilliance of the heliogravures * derived from it, already make of him a phenomenon, before one even discusses the pioneering nature of a lot of the material and the quality of the research and analysis. This is true above all of the books on Asian art and architecture and it is unique that three of the four early, rare and pioneering volumes he published are presented here, all in their original state, with two of them never used.

* One could say that Heliogravure and the variants of continuous tone printing, like collotype and photogravure in English or phototypie in French and Lichtdruck in German is to ordinary (halftone) photographic reproduction what a first impression Durer print is to, for example, a fourth, in terms of depth of contrast.

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