Paris, chez l’Auteur, 1768.
Folio of (1) l. of engraved title in an architecture and landscape frame and 24 numbered plates. Half-calf, covers in cardboard decorated with an elegant green, red and white paper. Binding from the beginning of the 19th century.
345 x 270 mm.
First edition of one of the most beautiful and rarest French illustrated books from the eighteenth century illustrated with a frontispiece and 24 etchings.
Brunet, II, 1736 ; Colas 1317 ; Cohen 463 ; Lipperheide 1253 ; Vinet 2284 ; Sander 864.
The frontispiece is by J. B. Lallemand ; 21 plates were engraved by Angélique and P.E. Moitte after Jean-Baptiste Greuze, the eleventh and the twenty-third are by Barbault and one is by Vleghels.
These compositions represent young Savoyard or Italian women, from the peasant class, the bourgeois class or the noble class, wearing their characteristic costumes and placed in sites or sceneries alluding to their origin. A caption written in Italian or in French complements each plate.
“These drawings by Greuze have been executed during the trip the artist took in Italy with Abbot Gougenot, councilor of the Grand Council and who took Greuze to Italy at his own expense. The drawings of this collection belonged to Abbot Gougenot when they were engraved by P.E. Moitte and F.A. Moitte. » (Bulletin Morgand et Fatout, 10343).
Greuze who greatly benefited from the reproduction of his works, kept a close watch on their engraving; the remarkable finish of the compositions derives from this high level of requirement.
Bright proofs, printed on thick laid-paper.
Jean-Baptiste Greuze only published two books, Le recueil de Têtes de différents caractères, of which only one complete copy is known, and the present one, also extremely rare, the size of the engravings encouraging, for more than two centuries, the engraving dealers to cut the volume et to sell the plates individually.
A beautiful copy of one of the rarest French illustrated books from the eighteenth century.