Paris: Abel l'Angelier...et le veuve M. Guillemot, 1615 [engraved title dated 1614]. Folio (415 x 272 mm). Elaborate engraved title by Jasper Isac, depicting architectural and garden perspectives with putti and angelic musicians; 66 large (230 x 180mm) engraved and etched classical subjects by Isac, L. Gaultier and Thomas de Leeu after Antoine Caron and other artists, large woodcut head- and tail-pieces. Contemporary French gilt-paneled russet morocco, spine gilt-lettered. Minor rubbing to binding and a few repairs; some leaves lightly browned, 3 plates lightly spotted, marginal repaired tears to 10 leaves, engraving on p. 463 with ink additions in two places, I4 on a guard. Provenance: Alexis Noisilier (bookplate); purchased from Walter Schatzki, 1961. From the Collection of Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow. Item #401726
MOST COMPLETE EDITION, describing a series of paintings ("imagines") reportedly seen at Naples by Philostratus. His descriptions were taken by Goethe, among others, to be of actual paintings, while other scholars deny their existence and favor the view that Philostratus instead reveals a fictionalized early interpretation of ancient artists’ depictions of mythological subjects. This edition was preceded by an unillustrated 1578 edition and a 1609 edition with only 58 plates. The translator Blaise de Vigenère of the French noble family in Saint-Pourçain studied Greek and Hebrew under Adrianus Turnebus and Jean Dorat and studied cryptography on diplomatic trips to Rome in 1549 and 1566. Hofer, Baroque Book Illustrations, 23 ("these fanciful illustrations, though far removed from their classical base, were much admired and imitated throughout the century"); Praz 64 (counting 4 plates only); Landwehr, Romanic, 586.