GAUTIER D'AGOTY, Jacques (1717-1786). Myologie complette en couleur et grandeur naturelle, composée de l'Essai et de la Suite de l'Essai d'anatomie, en tableaux imprimés. Paris: Gautier, Quillau, and Lamesle, 1746 [-1748]. 2 parts, broadsheets (418 x 300mm). Collective title in red and black, title to the 'Essai d'Anatomie' dated 1745, dedication, two advertisement leaves. 20 varnished, colour-printed mezzotints each with accompanying leaf of text, all window-mounted in an album (765 x 530mm). (Title and preliminaries spotted, dedication leaf with slight tear at margin, first plate with staining at margin.) [Bound with:]
Anatomie de la tête, en tableaux imprimés. Paris: Gautier, Duverney and Quillau, 1748. Broadsheets (554 x 394mm). Title in red and black, two dedication leaves, two approbation and advertisement leaves. 8 varnished, colour-printed mezzotints mounted on five leaves, each with accompanying leaf of text, also window-mounted. (First two leaves of text and first leaf of plates torn at margin, some marginal repairs.) [and:]
Anatomie generale des visceres en situation, de grandeur et couleur naturelle, avec l'angeologie, et la neurologie de chaque partie. [Paris: Gautier, 1752]. Broadsheets (475 x 318mm). 13 leaves of explanatory text, the first with drop-head title. 18 varnished, colour-printed mezzotints, of which 12 designed to form four life-size human figures. All window-mounted. (A few marginal stains and tears, some creasing to plates and text.)
Together 3 works in one volume. Near-contemporary green and white vellum, red edges (rebacked, tears and repairs to covers); modern green cloth slipcase. Provenance: Librairie Thomas Scheler, Paris (label).
GAUTIER'S THREE WORKS REPRESENT A DRAMATIC ADVANCE IN ANATOMICAL ILLUSTRATION. The life-size plates were engraved and printed in four colours in a process invented by Leblon and elaborated by Gautier, who had a 30-year privilege to use the process in France. The varnished versions of his images, which he offered at an additional charge, possess a painterly quality previously unattempted in anatomical illustration. Gautier's first project was the production of eight prints of the face, neck, head, tongue and larynx, which he issued in 1745, followed one year later by a second group of twelve mostly larger prints showing muscles of the pharynx, torso, arms and legs. A year later he issued the two works together under the general title Myologie complette. The images were from cadavers dissected by Joseph Guichard Duverney, lecturer in anatomy at the Jardin du Roi. Gautier's work on the anatomy of the head includes several finely detailed images from dissections made by Pierre Tarin, another collaborator for a brief period. The king's surgeon, Mertrud, provided dissections for the first three plates of the Anatomie Générale but after this Gautier himself took over the dissections, and apparently wrote all the descriptions in addition to preparing the plates. These were designed in such a way that four spectacular human figures could be formed by combing three plates together (1-3; 4-6; 10-12, and 16-18). 'Perhaps Gautier achieved nothing finer in his art than the moulding in mezzotint of that first full-length female figure, forming the first three of the Anatomie Générale' (Franklin p. 46). The immense size of the present album means that no plates have required folding. Wellcome calls for 24ll. in the Myologie but in this copy there are 25. Wellcome again calls for 24ll. in the Anatomie de la tête; whereas Blake calls for 20p. (or 10ll); this copy appears complete with 13ll. NLM/Blake, p.169; Choulant-Frank, pp. 270-74; Franklin, Early Colour Printing: 1977, 43-44; Wellcome III, p. 97; not in Norman.