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Jean (1490) Cousin (1495 - 1560)

Lot 9: COUSIN, Jean (ca 1490-1560). Livre de perspective . Paris: Le Royer, 1560.


December 2, 2010
New York, NY, US

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COUSIN, Jean (ca 1490-1560). Livre de perspective. Paris: Le Royer, 1560.

2υo (417 x 281 mm). 58 woodcut geometrical diagrams (5 folding, 16 full-page) by Le Royer and Aubin Olivier. (Without the small overslip on C3 as often, a2 shaved.) Contemporary vellum, ruled in gold and with gilt decorative center pieces on covers, edges gilt. Provenance: Solmss Laubach (bookplate, stamp on title verso).

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 artists' 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 inventice 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 Harvard French 157; Updike I, p.202.

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