Paris, Jean Richer et François Gueffier, 1618.
Large 8vo [174 x 107 mm] of (24) ll., 970 pp. wrongly numbered 968, (15) ll. Bound in full contemporary red morocco, gilt border on the covers, gilt stamped coat of arms on the center, flat spine decorated with the same border, gilt title on the spine, gilt edges. Contemporary binding.
Superb and rare illustrated edition of Alciato’s Emblems illustrated with 211 beautiful woodcuts (55 x 55 mm) placed within gracious frames.
This edition is enlarged with new comments given by Fédéric Morel that are published here for the first time.
“Andrea Alciato was born in Milan on May 8th, 1492. He went to study law in Pavia and Bologna.
In 1521, he is appointed professor of law at the university of Avignon; he got in this city such great successes, that up to eight hundred people were counted in his audience; but the lack of accuracy put into paying his fees convinced him to go back to Milan. Alciato was one of the first to feel that studying history is indispensable not to make any mistake in the study of law, and that the culture of the arts is not less necessary to the study of case law.”
“He had to take refuge in France, in 1529, where Francis I, taking advantage of the blind furor of Alciato’s compatriots, settled him in his Estates thanks to his benefits, and gave him the chair of Bourges, with a pension of 600 écus, which doubled the following year. Alciato was mean, and money was always a way to get to him. Francesco Sforza, duke of Milan, asked for him, and, knowing his passion, threatened to confiscate his properties if he didn’t came back. Such a threat, with offers of gifts, considerable pensions, and with the dignity of senator, convinced Alciato to return to his homeland. He then came back to teach in Pavia; but soon went to the university of Bologna; four years later, he came to get back his chair in Pavia, and, after a while, let himself again get in Ferrare thanks to the gifts of the duke Hercule d’Est”.
His most famous work, the Emblems, are pieces of four, six, eight or twelve verses enclosing literary and moral thoughts.
This sought-after edition is illustrated with 211 very beautiful woodcuts.
A precious copy bound in contemporary red morocco with the arms of François de la Mure, seigneur de Biénavant en Poitou, et de Changy et Chantois, en Forez.
“He was a King’s advisor, president in the election of Roanne, first president in 1614, and died in 1637. He had married in Roanne, on March 15th, 1609, Jeanne Gayardon de Grezolles, with whom he got ten children.” (Olivier, Pl. 611).
Provenance: François de la Mure (arms) and from the collection of the Ambassadeur de France et de la Vicomtesse de Fontenay (engraved ex libris).