Fables Mise en Verse, Jean de La Fontaine; Estampes Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Peintre du Roi, Tome Second

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Authors
Bosquet, Françoise
La Fontaine, Jean de
Wolff, Étienne
Issue Date
1992
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Book, Whole
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Research Projects
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Here is Volume Two of an impressive two-volume work presenting all (?) of the illustrations of the Desaint & Saillant et Durand four-volumes of La Fontaine that appeared between 1755 to 1759. See my comments on Volume One for reactions to the project as a whole. Among illustrations that may have lost detail through the use of color, one might want to look at CXXXII (27), CLI (71), CLXIII (97), and CLXXXI (139). Are elephants' ears really that red inside (82 and 271)? Particularly lovely illustrations are CXLIV (55), CLXXXII (141), CCX (206), CCXXIII (245), and CCXLIII 2 (301). This volume confused me at several points. First, I cannot find one beloved illustration: CLXXXIX 2 (Les Deux Rats, le Renard et l'Oeuf). Further, two distinct fables titled Le Loup et le Renard are pictured together on 206 and 207, namely CCX (Book 11, Fable 6) and CCXXII (Book 12, Fable 9). Finally, several illustrations that would normally occur here have been pulled out of sequence and are offered between pages 10 and 38 of Volume One: CCXXVIII 2 (Le Corbeau, la Gazelle, la Tortue et le Rat); CLXXXII 2 (Jupiter et le Passager); and CLXXII 2 (Le Singe et le Léopard). There is a T of C at the back and a ribbon. The covers are plain red cloth but the box features two colored illustrations. I had to think hard about whether a derivative edition like this was worth $350. Two months after deciding yes, I was able, to my immense surprise, to obtain an original 1755-1759 edition. Six months after that I was able to purchase a second copy of de Selliers' work for just $50 on eBay. This subsequent copy has numerous pencil marks below illustrations, perhaps referring to a catalogue of the plates.
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Diane de Selliers
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