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IV Livres de L'imitation De Jesus-Christ Qu'aucuns: Kempis, Thomas a;

Kempis, Thomas a; Janin, Jules; Delaunay, L'Abbe; Denis, Ferdinand

Published by L. Curmer (1858)

Used Hardcover First Edition

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From: Flamingo Books (Temecula, CA, U.S.A.)

Seller Rating: 5-star rating

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Item Description: L. Curmer, 1858. LEATHER BOUND. Book Condition: Good. First Edition. B00NQLX4X0 In French. Two volumes. 1856-58 first editions L. Curmer (Paris). Volume 1 (1856), 8 3/8 x 11 1/4 inches tall x 2 1/4 inches thick full red leather bound, five raised bands and gilt lettering to spine, marbled endpapers, gilt pattern to all board edges, two rows of gilt dentelles framing the pastedowns, all text within ornate chromolithographic borders, xii, 399, xiv. Volume 2 (1858), bound in conformity with Volume 1, 7 3/4 x 11 1/8 inches tall x 1-inch thick marbled paper-covered boards over red leather spine and tips, five raised bands and gilt lettering to spine, 23, 143, 51, [17], 16 pp. The covers of both volumes rubbed, stained and edgeworn, with a few abrasions, and fraying to tips. Volume 1 has moderate staining to the half title page, and a faded ink notation to the upper corner of the page. Faint library stamp to lower margin of frontispiece. Light creasing and 'Graf Bentheim' stamp to lower margin of the second title page. Same stamp to lower margin of title page in Volume 2. Otherwise, apart from a few pages in Volume 1 with light staining to the margins, a very good copy of this scarce complete set. References: Vicaire, Manuel de l'Amateur IV, pp. 489-490; Brunet, Supp. I, p. 673. Note that this is a heavy and oversized set, so additional postage will be required for international or priority orders. ~KM5~ The first volume of this work was one of two large-scale French publications in the 1850s which 'took chromolithography into new territory,' says historian Michael Twyman in his 2013 'A History of Chromolithography: Printed Colour For All' (London: The British Library), p. 158. It 'has long been regarded as a landmark French book, and its 400 pages of border decorations continue to delight the eye through the variety of their design and their vivid use of colour.' In addition to being a milestone in the use of chromolithography, the text of the beloved devotional work 'The Imitation of Christ' is the acclaimed 1626 French translation by Michel de Marillac (1560-1632). Each page has a border copied from an ancient manuscript, the facsimiles and engravings being collected from upwards of 360 manuscripts executed between the sixth and nineteenth centuries (many of which are documented in Volume 2). Five full-page chromolithographs are introduced as frontispieces to the entire work and each of the four books of the Imitation. They are: (1) Louis XIV at prayers; (2) Anne of Brittany praying, accompanied by her Ladies of Honour; (3) The Education of the Blessed Virgin Mary; (4) The Annunciation; and (5) The Nativity. These last four, as well as the twelve pages of the preface, are copied from the Book of Hours of Anne of Brittany in the sixteenth century. The twelve pages forming the calendar of the months which commences this work are embellished in conformity with the custom of ornamenting with illuminations all Books of the Hours. They are taken from a Book of Hours in the Louvre collection. The process involved the use of more than 900 lithographic stones, on which the designs were placed using a combination of ink and crayon work and printing done on thin, calendered card, with most of the borders employing ten to fourteen colors. Volume 2, which is illustrated with black-and-white engravings throughout, includes: a preface on the Imitation, by Jules Janin; the issue of authorship of the Imitation, by Fr. Delaunay; Ferdinand Denis on the history of ornamented manuscripts; an 1857 catalog of manuscript editions and printed editions of the Imitation (with its own title page); and two works on 'La Grand Danse Macabre des Hommes et des Femmes.' 'The Imitation of Christ,' sometimes referred to as 'The Following of Christ' or 'The Christian Pattern,' is a Christian devotional book first composed in Latin circa 1420-1427. It is a handbook for spiritual life arising from the Devotio Moderna movement, of which presumed author Thomas Kempis was a member. The Imitation is perhaps the most widely read devotional. Bookseller Inventory # KM5-0941-1519

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