Théâtre . . . avec des commentaires, et autres morceaux intéressans. Nouvelle Edition, augmentée. Geneva (Berlin, Rottmann),

CORNEILLE Pierre (1774.)


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Frontispiece to volume I after Pierre, engraved by Watelet, depicting a sylph placing a wreath over the bust of Corneille; 34 fine engraved plates after Gravelot, engraved by Baquoy, Flipart, Lemire, Lempereur, de Longueil, Prévost and Radiques. Text enclosed in a decorative woodcut border. 8 vols. 4to. Contemporary half calf, ornamental gilt spines.

A sumptuous re-impression, with some changes, of Voltaire's famous 1764 edition (12 volumes in 8vo) published to provide for Corneille's destitute niece. Gordon Ray describes Gravelot's compositions as "harmonious and decorative, nicely interpreting the crucial moments of the plays, [they] are a delight to the eyes . . . the engravings for La galerie du palais and La place royale are among Gravelot's best known illustrations". For the quarto format the engravings have been enclosed in elaborate frames designed by Gravelot. Voltaire provides a commentary for each play. Emile Picot says that for this edition Voltaire "piqué des critiques dont ses Commentaires avaient été l'objet, accentua dans un certain nombre de passages le blâme qu'il avait porté contre Corneille".Sonewhat browned throughout.Picot 643. Cohen-de Ricci 255. Ray I, pp.42-3 (1764 edition).

Stock Code: 41687

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