VESALIUS, Andreas (1514-64). Les portraicts anatomiques de toutes les parties du corps humain. Translated and edited by Jacques Grévin (1538-70). Paris: André Wechel, 1569.
2° (368 x 250mm). 47 copper-engravings of anatomical illustration on 40 sheets, one double-page, three with figures re-engraved, printer's device on title and final leaf (AE2), ornamental headpieces and initials. (Light stain on 3 plates, neat repairs on verso of double-page plate and a few margins, slight wear at corner of title, small wormtrack just into plate edge in about 7 plates.) Later mottled vellum, remains of two fore-edge cloth ties.
FIRST EDITION in French. The engraved plates are close copies by Thomas Geminus of the remarkable woodcuts in the first edition, printed at Basel in 1543. The Geminus plates themselves were "as influential as the woodcuts in the development of anatomical illustration" (Mortimer, Harvard French 541) and are noteworthy as among the earliest copper-engravings executed in England. They were made for the first London edition of 1545, and were later re-used, with 3 plates having been amended by cutting away sections and re-inserting a new figure, in a Latin edition of 1565 and the present French edition. Although these latter two editions were printed at Paris by Wechel, the plates appear to have been printed in London and the sheets sent to Paris, presumably as easier and less costly than sending the copper-plates themselves to Paris. Although Cushing calls for only one leaf in the final quire, the present copy has a second leaf, printed with Wechel's device on the verso only.
Grévin was a distinguished medical humanist, as well being a poet in the school of Ronsard. Among his performed plays were La Trésorière, La Mort de César, and Les Esbahis. A Protestant, Grévin took refuge in England, where he was associated with Queen Elizabeth. Brunet V, 1151 ("peu commun, et plus recherché"); Cushing, Vesalius 130; Durling 2175; Waller 9915; cf. Mortimer, Harvard Italian 541 for Latin 1565 edition.