Four angels stopping the wind. Woodcut. Meder 169. B. 66.
Watermark: Flower on Triangle (Meder 127).
Impression from the latin editon of 1511. On strong paper.
Coll.: Dr. Konrad Liebmann, Ossnabrück.
The Apocalypse by Dürer is one of the key works of the Renaissance north of the Alps.
After Dürer published his fifteen large woodcuts of the Apocalypse
in 1498, neither the woodcut as a graphic medium nor the imagery
of St. John’ Revelation would ever be regarded as before, as he
elevated both compositions and motifs beyond all boundaries set by his antecedents. The enterprise of the Apocalypse was novel in two
aspects: First, it was the earliest book designed and published by
an artist exclusively as his own undertaking. Dürer signed not only as the artist, by placing his monogram on each print, but also as the publisher in the colophon. Second, the Apocalypse was a new type
of an illustrated book.
Adoration of the Bergers, 1888. Dry point and soft ground etching on simili Japan paper. Delteil 58; Taevernier 58 III (of IV); Crocquez 58; Mira Jacob 69. Signed and dated in pencil lower right: “James Ensor 1888”. On the reverse the signature lettering of the artist.
15,7:11,3 cm. (Sheet size: 28,5:19,7 cm).
Prov.: Dr. Frédéric Trüssel, (1873 Bern 1965).
Exh.: Galerie Koller, 1974, no. 2932.
The drawing for this print is in Brussels, in the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, and a hand-colored proof can be found in the collection of the Boijmans – Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam.
In very good condition.
Il Decamerone. Filippo di Matteo Villani, Londra [i.e., Paris], 1757. 8°. 5 volumes, with engraved title in each volume, 97 engraved vignette headpieces and tailpieces, and 111 very fine engraved plates (including frontispiece portrait in volume one), primarily after
drawings by Gravelot, but also after Eisen, Boucher, and Cochin.
Contemporary dark green maroquin (bleached).
Cohen-de Ricci 158 (“un des livres illustrés de plus réussis de tout
le XVIIIe siècle”); Ray 15; Brunet I, 1003. A good, clean copy in
contemporary morocco of one of the most famous and charming
illustrated books of the 18th century, which may be the supreme
example of refined libertine illustration of the period.
Owen Holloway calls this one of the four masterpieces of book illustration at the end of the Rococo period. And Ray is expansive in his praise, calling the work simply “one of the masterpieces of the illustrated book.” Although he had as collaborators on this work some of the outstanding French artists of the 18th century, Gravelot (born Hubert-François-Bourguignon, 1699 – 1773) was mainly responsible
for its production, designing 89 of its 222 plates and all 97 of its immensely delightful tail-pieces. In this, the most ambitious under-
taking of his career, Gravelot gave Boccaccio‘s narrative the settings and costumes of 18th century France, and this “made it possible for him to exercise his special talent for depicting the social world around him. For the most part, his figures are young, the women graceful and pretty, the men lithe and handsome . . . . All levels of life are
presented, from the peasant in his hovel to the king in his palace. Every variety of interior is there, from boudoirs and bedrooms to
dining rooms and salons. Animated street scenes alternate with glimpses of gardens and farms, forests and river banks. The human condition has rarely been so attractively displayed. Yet this is only the beginning . . . . Gravelot‘s tail-pieces complete what his plates have
begun. They are peopled by amusing children, who . . . usually play their parts in interpreting Boccaccio‘s text.” (Ray).
Our handsome set was bound for Francis Longe (1748-1812), a
gentleman who served as sheriff of Norfolk and whose library is listed in Quaritch‘s “Dictionary of Book Collectors.” The “Catalogue of British and American Book Plates” held by the British Museum lists two different bookplates for Longe (3385 and 3386).