HANS VREDEMAN DE VRIES (1527-?1606)
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HANS VREDEMAN DE VRIES (1527-?1606)

Details
HANS VREDEMAN DE VRIES (1527-?1606)

Perspective. French text. Leyden: Beuckel Nieulandt for Hendrik Hondius, 1604-1605. 2 parts in one volume, oblong 2° (249 x 333mm). Engraved title to part II with letterpress text. 72 engraved plates by Hondius and Bartholomeus Dolendo [cf. Nagler I, 1757] after Vredeman de Vries, 2 engraved illustrations by Hondius, woodcut initials. (Variable light browning, occasional marking or light staining, a few paper-flaws affecting the text, part I lacking title and â1-2 torn and neatly repaired, some neat marginal repairs in part II.) Contemporary vellum (some marking, rebacked, board edges repaired, lacking ties).

FIRST EDITION, French-language issue. Vredeman de Vries studied painting with Reijer Griesten and then assisted Pieter Coecke van Aelst with the decoration of the triumphal arches built for the entry of the future Emperor Philip II into Antwerp in 1549. This work with Serlio's first Dutch translator not only brought Vredeman de Vries into contact with a circle of artists and architects, but also introduced him to the classical masters. As a consequence of the religious upheavals of the period, Vredeman worked in Hamburg, Gdansk and Prague, before returning to Holland at the end of the sixteenth century, by which time he was perhaps best known for his numerous engravings, in which capacity he was far more prolific than as an artist or architect. Through his various publications, Vredeman de Vries is recognised as the 'foremost among sixteenth century Netherlandish [architectural] authors [...] an engraver, architect, and painter of prodigious imagination and talent' (Millard, p.19).

Perspective was issued simultaneously in French, Latin, Dutch and German in 1604-1605, and is counted 'among Vredeman's more celebrated works [...] What makes this book so visually compelling is Vredeman's geometric emphasis and restraint, which results in an almost eerie sequence of unpopulated rooms and courtyards, [...] displaying his flair for compositional forms. The classical language in which his architecture is clad thus becomes timeless in its character' (Millard, pp.20-21). Cicognara 867; Millard Northern European Books 139 (lacking engraved title to pt ii). For 1604-1605 Latin issue: Berlin Katalog 4704; Fowler 432.
Provenance
Dr Anton C.R. Dreesmann (inventory no. Y-5).
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