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Les Portraicts Anatomiques de Toutes les - VESALIUS, Andreas - 1569. [1276978]
Par Jaques Grevin… Forty engraved anatomical plates (one folding). Title & text ruled in red throughout. 4 p.l., 106 pp., one leaf with printer's woodcut device on verso (otherwise blank). Folio, early 18th-cent. vellum over boards (two very neat restorations in margins of the title & faint traces of two inscriptions erased, folding "Adam & Eve" plate backed & with two tears neatly repaired without loss, a few small marks and slight browning of the paper), leather lettering piece on spine. Paris: A. Wechel, 1569. First edition in French of Vesalius's Fabrica, illustrated with the first anatomical copper engravings. This is a fine copy of this beautiful edition and is particularly rare when complete with the final leaf (lacking in the NLM, Cushing, and Waller copies). The translation was made by Jacques Grevin (?1538-70), a poet and one of the most distinguished medical humanists of France. He has added a chapter of his own, "Brefe Declaration des Parties du Corps Humain." In 1560, because of religious reasons, he was forced to leave France for England where he was befriended by Queen Elizabeth. Here he probably met Thomas Geminus, who had published a plagiarized edition of Vesalius in 1545 illustrated with his own copper engravings, the first time that the medium had been used in an anatomical book (this is a famously rare book). It was probably Grevin who enabled the Parisian printer Christian Wechel to acquire Geminus's copperplates, as Wechel published an edition of Geminus's Compendiosa in 1564, using Geminus's original engravings. Five years later Grevin published the present translation of the Vesalian text, illustrated with the same engravings. Vesalius complained about Geminus's plagiarism and regarded his engravings as inept, but "in fact Gemini's copies, though omitting the background to Vesalius's figures, are very competent technically. Perhaps the best tribute to this competence is the speed with which his copperplates were in turn themselves plagiarized by continental publishers."-ODNB. Not only were these plates made from the best anatomical illustrations that had ever been published, but Grevin gave prominence to the new technique in the title to this book; it was published not merely with illustrations, but because of them. A really nice copy. ? Cushing VI.C.-7-(omitting the last leaf from his collation). Roberts & Tomlinson, The Fabric of the Body. European Traditions of Anatomical Illustration, p. 140-Geminus's engravings are "remarkably fine copies of those of Vesalius. The background landscapes have been simplified into a few rocks and tufts of grass, and a few figures have been reversed; but these anatomical figures have been engraved with accuracy and clarity, the lettering particularly standing out well in this finer medium.".
      [Bookseller: Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2016-11-29           Check availability:      Biblio    

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