Antique Book-PHILOSTRATES SOPHISTES GRECS-Blaise de Vigenere-1637



‘Les Images ou Tableaux de platte peinture des deux Philostrates Sophistes Grecs et les statues de Callistrate Mis en Francois par Blaise de Vigenere Bourbonnois. Revues et corrigez …et representez en taille douce en cette nouvelle edition. Avec des epigrammes sur chacun d’iceux par Artus Thomas Sieur d’Embry.’

Paris, Chez Mathieu Guillemot, rue Sainct Jaques a la bibliotecque, 1637.

In-folio, engraved title page + (16)nn pp + 921 pp + (47) nn pp with 68 large engravings (65 in the first, second part, 3 in La Suite de Philostrate). Sold as a collection of prints and text pages, partly bound with front cover lacking. Pages with damp stains, although most plates images are clean.

Plates were engraved by Leonard Gaultier and Thomas de Leu after designs by Antoine Caron and Jasper Isaac. Title plate by Isaac. Third illustrated edition of Blaise de Vigenère’s French translation of the Imagines of the Philostrati. The Imagines of the elder Philostratus is a description of sixty-four pictures in a gallery at Naples, the continuation by Philostratus III describes 17 pictures. Goethe, Welcker and Brunn among others have held that the descriptions are of actually existing works, Heyne and Friedrichs deny this. Vigenère’s French translation with commentary was first published in 1578. It was an important iconographical source book in the 17th century. See Hofer, Baroque Book Illustration, 23. The Bibliothèque Nationale list 5 editions of this book each with a different date but with the same collation; 1614 , 1615, 1629, 1630, 1637. It should be ascertained that these are really different editions. We notice that the printer’s name and date of publication are engraved on a small oval vignette which fits into the engraved title page.

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