De l’Art des Devises [in five books]

LE MOYNE, Pierre (1602-1671)

Published by Sebastien Cramoisy & Sebastien Mabre Cramoisy, 1666
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4to (195 x 175mm). [40], 1-230, [14], 244-379, [3], 383-423, [2], 428-455, [2], 458-521 [23]. Full-page engraved frontispiece signed by Jacques Le Paultre with arms of Pope Urban VIII (papacy, 1623-1644), from the Barberini family, dedicated to him, and with scene of mythological figures and emblems. Title with unsigned copperplate engraving of emblems in medallion and verse taken from Exodus 20. Woodcut chapter initials, head- and tailpieces at beginning of five books, most are historiated with putti, foliage or coats of arms. The catalogue-like Cabinet de Devises [p. 231], contains 124 copperplate engravings in text, some signed, and copperplate engravings with engraved text in text pp. 245-379 on rectos with 67 devices. Copperplate engraving with engraved text signed "L’alouetter sculpsit" on [p.382] with armorial pictura enclosed by Latin inscription; "Jardin des Devises" (pp. 383-423) with 20 unillustrated devices, and "Devises Royales" (pp. 427-455) with 15 unillustrated devices. Last part, "Devises adoptees" (pp. 458-521) with 57 devices. Contemporary French mottled calf, boards weak, spine gilt in compartments; (light browning and some interspersed marginal worming and outer wear, but the quality intricacy in the copperplate etchings remain most attractive). This volume was at once in a Jesuit Collection as is suggested by the contemporary ink inscription on the title, "Soc. Gallia Jesu," below, another ownership mark of a later armorial stamp is untraced. First Edition of Pierre Le Moyne’s generously illustrated theoretical work, ‘Art of Making Devices,’ a classic cornerstone in French Emblematica printed in 1666 with Jesuit interest. The little-known Pierre Le Moyne lived through the perilous years of France’s rise to European leadership yet died at the peak of that growth. He was an energetic and prolific participant in many of the cultural struggles of the period, on what we would now consider the "liberal" side. An active Jesuit and poet, Le Moyne published many volumes during his lifetime, which could best be described as presentations of the ethical views of his religious order. Yet Le Moyne departed from that purely rhetorical tradition in making a pictorial dimension central to this, his theoretical analysis, and utilized the moralistic emblem as an anchor in his explanations. Le Moyne asserted in his preface that emblems themselves were a kind of "verbal picture," "colorless paintings in which the Nature of each Passion is expressed by the marks proper to it." The success of this work waned after its 17th-century release, although Le Moyne is gaining recognition through his moralistic poetry after nearly three centuries of neglect. Bookseller Inventory #

Bibliographic Details

Title: De l’Art des Devises [in five books]
Publisher: Sebastien Cramoisy & Sebastien Mabre Cramoisy
Publication Date: 1666
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good
Edition: First Edition.

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