Molière, Jean Baptiste Poquelin de | Boucher's superb illustrations for Molière
2,500 - 3,500 USD
The Passion of American Collectors: Property of Barbara and Ira Lipman
Molière, Jean Baptiste Poquelin de
Oeuvres … Nouvelle édition. Paris: Pierre, 1734
4to (288 x 215 mm). Engraved frontispiece portrait of Molière by Coypel, 33 engraved plates after Boucher, 210 engraved head- and tailpieces and 104 engraved initials after Boucher, Blondel, and Oppenord; divisional title for "Memoirs sur la vie …" misbound following p. lxii (vol. I). Contemporary polished French mottled calf, spines gilt in six compartments, morocco gilt lettering-pieces, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers; original spines laid down, but generally good condition. Two brown half-morocco clamshell cases.
First printing of Boucher's Molière. perhaps the greatest French illustrated book of the first half of the eighteenth century.
The artistic brilliance of the young François Boucher, the preeminent French master of the period, is never more in evidence than in the compositions for these volumes.
Per Bjurström, discussing the innovative qualities of these plates, described the manner in which Boucher concentrated the action to produce a new sense of dramatic unity, and thus transcended earlier, more static graphic interpretations. He notes further that a number of plates, in particular "Les Précieuses ridicules" appear to have been based upon studies of actual performers at the Comédie Française.
A clean set in fine, bright condition.
Wyndham Slade (armorial bookplates)
Das Buch als Kunstwerk: Französischer illustrierte Bücher aus der Bibliothek Hans Fürstenberg, 16; Brunet III, 1798; Cohen-Rici 712; Lewine 361; Ray 6; Sander 1638; P. Bjurström, "Les illustrations de Boucher pour Molière," Figura, N.S., I, 1959, 138–152
Condition as described in catalogue entry.
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