The architectural historians and illustrators Bernd Dams and Andrew Zega have collaborated on a series of remarkable watercolours depicting significant examples of architecture, garden architecture and ornament in France in the century and a half before the Revolution. As the late Charles Ryskamp has noted of these works, ‘The paintings are brilliant and original. The author/artists, American and German, have captured the French genius of these buildings through the medium of watercolor, which enables the rendition of various building materials and surfaces with remarkable versatility and sensitivity. The illustrations overcome the special problems of recreating the appearance of each building. The paintings are abstractions of the elevations of the main facades of each building; yet they are also informative of the architectural peculiarities of the entire structure. The resulting illustrations both document the architectural past and are modern works of art in their own right.’ A German architect and architectural historian whose doctoral thesis was on the Château of Marly, Dams met Zega, an American artist and writer, in the early 1990s, when both were employed at the architectural firm of Robert A. M. Stern in New York. The two began collaborating on detailed and historically accurate watercolours of buildings and ornament, with an emphasis on French architecture of the 17th and 18th centuries, notably the Palace of Versailles. Many of the buildings depicted no longer exist, and their splendid watercolours are thus based on contemporary accounts, descriptions and illustrations. Dams and Zega have written and illustrated four books: Pleasure Pavilions and Follies, published in 1995, Garden Vases (2000), Palaces of the Sun King: Versailles, Trianon, Marly (2002) and Chinoiseries (2006). Watercolours by Dams and Zega are today in the collections of The New-York Historical Society and the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York, the Princeton University Art Museum, and the Musée de l’Ile de France at the Château de Sceaux. Works by the artists are also in numerous private collections, including those of Brooke Astor, Robert Denning, Hubert de Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta and Jayne Wrightsman.