LUCRETIUS CARUS, Titus (ca 96-55 B.C.). Della natura delle cose libri sei. Translated from Latin into Italian by Alessandro Marchetti. Amsterdam [but Paris]: François Gerbault, 1754.
2 volumes, 8o (222 x 146 mm). Engraved frontispiece and title-page to each volume after Eisen, 6 engraved plates by Lemire, Aliamet and others after Charles-Nicolas Cochin (1715-1790) (5) and Le Lorrain (one), 7 vignette head-pieces (6 after Cochin) and 5 (3 after Cochin) vignette tail-pieces. (Some occasional spotting.) Near contemporary gilt, cherry and green marbled calf, the covers decorated with a border of single gilt fillet embellished with acanthus leaf tools at each corner, spines in six compartments with five raised bands, gilt-lettered morocco labels in two, the others decorated with small flower tools, all edges gilt-marbled (skillfully rebacked preserving the original spine); red cloth folding box. Provenance: W.R.H. Jeudwine (bookplate; his sale London, Bloomsbury Book Auctions, 18 September 1984).
"THE MODEL FOR THE SUMPTUOUS ROCOCO VOLUMES OF THE ENSUING TWENTY-FIVE YEARS" (Ray).
An extravagant production, printed on large paper, in an exotic binding. Cochin was a prodigious and prestigious illustrator, between 1737 and 1790 he illustrated more than 200 books: "His ideas on painting, many of them expressed in his Lettres à un Jeune Artiste Peintre (ca 1774), attempted to remould tradition; he condemned the use of dark elements in the foregrounds of paintings, such as were advocated by Roger de Piles; as a result this feature disappeared from paintings by his contemporaries. In the cause of imitating nature, he was so strongly opposed to painters who pursued ideal beauty that he considered it less dangerous for an artist to copy Caravaggio than Raphael. What to him distinguished the great artist was not the choice of subject-matter nor historical accuracy, which he regarded as secondary, but his skill in selecting from the elements of nature and in choosing an appropriate style: what he called 'the artist's own manner'" (Grove Art). Brunet III, 1222; Cohen-de-Ricci 665-66; Ray French 9; C. Michel Charles-Niclas Cochen et le Livre Illustré au XVIIIe siècle. Geneva: 1987, 97. (2)