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Description

COUSIN, Jean (ca 1490-1560). Livre De Perspective. Paris: Jean Le Royer, 1560.

Large 2υo (409 x 281 mm). 58 woodcut geometrical diagrams (5 folding, 16 full-page) by Le Royer and Aubin Olivier after Cousin; with small overslip on C3v, often lacking. (Some minor pale dampstaining to some upper margins, a2 shaved slightly at fore-margin, without final blank R4.) Contemporary vellum, remnant of one leather tie (front hinge cracked); cloth case. Provenance: Robert Hoe (bookplate).

FIRST EDITION of this rare work on perspective, described by Updike as "one of the handsomest volumes of its time." Cousin was the leading theorist on artistic perspective in sixteenth century France and is credited with perfecting the tiers points technique: "a reliable, comprehensive and substantially accurate method for tackling the construction of space and the foreshortening of solid bodies" (Kemp, The Science of Art).

The large woodcut frontispiece is "singularly inventive with its foreshortened perspective, displaying five polyhedrons set in a framework supported by acrobatic nudes. Later generations elaborated such frameworks in the painting of baroque ceilings" (Wick, Sixteenth Century Architectural Books 30). Adams C-2852; Berlin Kat. 4690; Cicognara 832; Mortimer French 157; Updike I, p.202. Fact and Fantasy 37.

Provenance

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