Title: Praise of Folly] "Vita Joannis Holbenii, ...
Publisher: typ. Genathianis, Basel
Publication Date: 1676
Book Condition: Very Good
8vo (180 x 105mm). Additional engraved title page, portraits of Erasmus and Holbein (2 for Holbein) before their respective Vitas. 83 in text copperplate engravings (some of which are wider than the page and a printed and separately laid on and folded) depicting characters and scenes from the Praise of Folly, a list of Holbeinís works, and four letters of Lister, Erasmus and Sir Thomas More. Later 19th century three quarter calf over marbled paper boards; (slightest toning, some insect damage to pp.41-52). Second title inscribed by owner at upper right "Richard Celery?" in early 18th century hand, the English spelling of "Richard" suggests the book was in England sometime in the century after it was printed. 1676 Basel edition of Listerís commentary on Erasmusís "Praise of Folly" produced by Patin with earliest engraved reproductions after Hans Holbein, the whole constituting the first catalogue raisonné of the artistís works. An edition of Erasmusís Praise of Folly, with marginal commentaries by Gerhard Lister, and with the earliest engraved reproductions, which are based on Holbeinís drawings in the Froben 1515 edition. A biography of Holbein is followed by a catalogue of sixty of his works, indicating their locations at that time (e-e2). This list apparently constitutes the first "true catalogue" of the artistís work. This edition includes an engraved portrait of Erasmus after Holbein (facing b3) and an engraved illustration of Erasmusís tomb epitaph (c6). The Praise of Folly has long been famous as the best-known work of Erasmus, the greatest of the Renaissance humanists. The Folly is a fantastic tale, which starts off as a learned frivolity but turns into a large-scale ironic parody and was written in 1509 apparently to "amuse" Sir Thomas More. It is the first and perhaps the finest example of a new form of Renaissance satire. The Folly ends with a straightforward and touching statement of the Christian ideals, which Erasmus shared with his English friends John Colet and Sir Thomas More. Listerís commentary, which first appeared in Frobenís 1515 edition, was largely written by Erasmus himself, some say in an attempt to compensate for his lack of credentials and authority by using numerous quotes from the Bible as well as other religious, poetic and philosophical texts. The editor Charles Patin, French surgeon and numismatist, had a deep fascination with Holbein and was a somewhat nostalgic admirer of Erasmus. In fact, Patinís father was a devout libertin and kept a portrait of Erasmus in their house. While living in Basel, Patin and his friend Sebastian Faesch decided to edit the famous Erasmus Folly, together with the manuscript illustrations made by Holbein for the original Basel edition. Patinís collaboration resulted in a great amassing of Renaissance scholarship, which in part celebrated Holbeinís legacy through his wonderful images. Bookseller Inventory # D7412
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