Dezallier d’Argenville family
French family of writers, one of them also an engraver and collector.
(b Paris, July 2, 1680; d Paris, Nov 29, 1765).
Writer, collector and engraver. He was the son of Antoine Dezallier, a bookseller in Paris who had acquired the estate of d’Argenville; his maternal uncle was Pierre Mariette le fils. He was educated at the Collège du Plessis and studied drawing and engraving with Bernard Picart, Roger de Piles and Jean Leblond (ii). His first researches were into natural history, with particular reference to gardening, and his earliest publication was La Théorie et la pratique du jardinage (1709). This was the most important codification of the formal French garden, and its successive editions traced the development of the art of gardening through the first half of the 18th century. He also published papers on shells and fossils that reveal a collector’s instinct for classification and identification. These interests brought him the membership of a number of learned societies, and he was asked by D’Alembert and Diderot to write articles about hydraulics and the art of gardening for their ...