2 December 2010
[COLONNA, Francesco]. Hypnerotomachie, ou Discours du songe de Poliphile. Anonymous translation from Latin into French, edited by Jean Martin. Paris: Louis Blaublom for Jacques Kerver, 20 August 1546.
2o (323 x 202 mm). Roman, italic, Greek and Hebrew types, woodcut Arabic. Title within woodcut border with putti, male and female terminal figures and grotesques, signed with Kerver's initials in three places, Blaublom's two-turtle device at bottom; 181 woodcut illustrations in various sizes, 13 full-page, including a group of tombstones with typeset text inserted; woodcut 9-line arabesque initials composing an acrostic including Colonna's name; Kerver's device (Renouard 513) on recto of last leaf . 18th-century speckled calf (some light staining, upper joint weak). Provenance: Jean-Baptiste Palleron, of Lyon (early signature on title); Catherine de Seguin "bonne fille" (early inscription at end of text).
FIRST EDITION IN FRENCH. The woodcuts of Kerver's edition are freely adapted from the somewhat sparer cuts of the Aldine editions of 1499 and 1545, with a number of modifications typical of the French Renaissance style, including modeling, swirling drapery, and more lavish landscapes. Fourteen new illustrations of topiary, formal gardens and architectural details are added. At least four different styles can be discerned in the woodcuts, but no artist has been positively identified, although Jean Goujon has been mentioned. Fairfax Murray French 99; Harvard/Mortimer French 145.
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