L’art de peinture ..traduit en Francois, enrichy de remarques, reveu, corrigé & augmenté. Troisieme edition.
Paris, Nicholas Langlois 1684.
8vo. (16) + 276 + (30) + (24)pp, engraved part title leaf and (30) engraved plates. Early nineteenth century panelled full mottled calf, gilt spine (”bound by J.Mackenzie”). Pages 123-136 affected by damp, with some paper loss to upper part of pp 129-134, pages between p.145 and p.252 with old damp stains at right hand outer blank margins, and a fainter damp stain at inner upper corner of pages and plates from then until close to end of volume. Bookplate of Michael Jaffé (1923-1997), Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and authority on the painter Rubens.
This comprises the text of the Latin poem De Arte Graphica written by the Italian-trained French artist Charles Alphonse du Fresnoy (1611-1668), first published in 1656, together with a translation of it into French prose by Du Fresnoy’s younger contemporary, the diplomat and art critic Roger de Piles, an extensive commentary on the poem also supplied by De Piles, a suite of thirty engravings of the human figure by Sebastien Le Clerc with an accompanying engraved title leaf, and, at the end, a short alphabetical explanation of the principal terms used in the description of paintings. De Piles also provides a preface of his own in which he refers to his friendship with Du Fresnoy and explains that he had submitted the text of his translation for Du Fresnoy’s approval before Du Fresnoy’s death. De Piles’s translation first appeared in an edition of 1668, but this edition did not contain the suite of engravings by Le Clerc, which is first found in some copies of the second edition, 1673, and is again found in some copies of the present third edition.The copy catalogued here is not in pleasing condition (see description below), but we offer it for sale because it contains the suite of engravings by Le Clerc, with the accompanying engraved title leaf describing them as “Figures d’Academie pour aprendre à desiner gravées par Sebastien LeClerc”, with an undated imprint “à Paris, chez N.Langlois, rue St.Jacques à la Victoire” below.