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Most influential voice in the Enlightenment reassessment and valorization of ancient Greek art

WINCKELMANN, (J.J.) Histoire de l’art chez les anciens, Par Winckelmann; Traduite de l’allemand; avec des notes historiques et critiques de differens auteurs. Tome Premier [-Tome II. Deuxième partie.] A Paris, Chez H.J. Jansen et Comp. (vols I & II), chez Gide (last volume), 1793-1803. With 3 engraved frontispieces, 3 title vignettes, engraved head- and tailpieces, many fine half-page engravings and 65 engraved plates. Two volumes bound in three. cii, 695, [1] pp.; [4], 692 pp.; [4], 405, [3] pp. 4to. Nineteenth century blind and gilt tooled calf, spines with raised bands, gilt lettering, inside dentelles, marbled edges, joints and extremities a bit shaved, first two volumes with short splits to joints but firmly holding.

€ 900

Brunet v, col. 1463: “Bonne édition, dont les 2 prem. volumes parurent d’abord en 1793, sous le titre Oeuvres de Winckelmann“; Graesse, Trésor de Livres Rares et Précieux, vol. vi, p. 461.
“The most influential voice in the Enlightenment reassessment and valorization of ancient Greek art, Winckelmann also shaped two disciplines that emerged in the eighteenth century, art history and archaeology. (…..) Winckelmann’s growing reputation as the foremost classical scholar, as well as his appointments and personal connections, put him at the center of an influential circle of art connoisseurs, artists, and intellectuals. (…..) History of Ancient Art, groundbreaking because of its historical, developmental account of the origins and development of art in various periods and cultures, largely viewed Roman art, by contrast to that of the Greeks, as imitative in a negative sense, a decadent fall from the perfection of the Greek ideal. (…..) Artistic styles, as Winckelmann argued, developed in response to factors such as climate and social and political structures conducive to freedom. Since, as he saw it, these external conditions were ideal in ancient Greece, Greek art had developed in perfect harmony with nature” (Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, vol. iv, pp. 259 ff.) From 1758 on, Winckelmann was employed as a librarian and curator by Cardinal Alessandro Albani, founder of one of the most important eighteenth-century collections of classical antiquities. He was also librarian at the Vatican and prefect of Roman antiquities. Winckelmann’s interpretations of ancient arts were enormously influential and his influence can be traced among numerous German thinkers -including Johann Gottfried Herder, Goethe, Friedrich and August Wilhelm Schlegel, and Hegel. – The half-titles of the first two volumes entitled “Oeuvres Complettes de Winckelmann” as indicated by Brunet. Some pages a bit browned or spotted, but only ocassionally, a nice copy on good paper and with ample margins.

Reminiscent of Turgot’s work

(VERRI, P.) Meditazioni sulla economia politica. Prima Edizione Napoletana. Napoli, Nella Stamperia di Giovanni Gravier, 1771. With title-vignette, title printed within engraved border. (8), 212 pp. 8vo. Later boards.

€ 1250

Kress 6828; Goldsmiths 10722 (edition without place or publisher); not in Einaudi (listing three other editions from 1771); Higgs 5167; Mattioli 3734-36, all different editions, not this one; Kress, Italian Economic Literature, i, 406; Carpenter, Economic Bestsellers before 1850, xxv/2.
One of four editions from 1771: the Livorno edition is the first, in the listing by Carpenter and in the Italian Economic Literature this Napels edition is given as the second in the sequence and is followed by the other 1771 editions.
The work was an immediate succes and went through some 6 editions in a short period; Verri’s publishing history outside Italy was remarkable — four French editions, two in German, at least one, perhaps two in Dutch, and a partial Russian translation (Carpenter), and more recently, into English. “Verri’s Meditazioni (Meditations on Political Economy) is a complete treatise on political economy, reminiscent of Turgot’s work (1766) with its tight, logical framework and division into fairly short sections. The work was highly appreciated when it appeared and could be found, for example, in the library of Adam Smith. His work, though now largely ignored, may therefore have exerted greater influence than is generally believed” (New Palgrave, volume iv, p. 807).
“This work (the Meditazioni) firmly embraces free trade, and anticipates (especially the concept of money as a universal commodity, the theory of value, and the dynamics of the laws of the marketplace) the Wealth of Nations of Adam Smith” (Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, vol. 4, p. 221).
Pietro Verri (1728-1797) was an Italian economist, administrator and philosopher. His work includes several anti-Physiocratic views: for example on tax issues and on the importance of agriculture. His work contains a number of original contributions. Not only did he do historical research of importance, but he also was a true econometrician. Schumpeter states: “Count Pietro Verri …… would have to be included in any list of the greatest economists.” Verri also belonged to the ‘Illuministi” of Italy and founded the important but short-lived periodical ‘Il Caffé’, together with Beccaria and others. – Somewhat browned and spotted throughout, in a contemporary hand written onto title “del c. verri milanese”, rather thick lettering.

One of the most prolific illustrators of Dutch 17th-century emblem books

VENNE, ADR. VAN DE. Tafereel van de Belacchende Werelt [Tableau of the Ridiculous World], en des selfs geluckige Eeuwe, Goet Rondt, Met by-gevoegde Raedsel-Spreucken, aen-geweven in de Boer-Achtige Eenvoudigheit, op de Haegsche Kermis. Verçiert met Konst-rijcke Af-beeldingen. In ‘s Graven-Hage, Gedruckt voor den Autheur, ende by hem ende syne te koop, op de Turf-Marckt, inde drie Leer-Konsten, 1635. With engraved additional title, large woodcut allegorical vignette on letterpress title, 12 fine half page engravings in the text. (16), 280 pp. 4to. Nineteenth-century half calf, spine gilt with raised bands, label with gilt lettering, marbled boards.

                                                                                                                                                 € 2500

Hollstein XXXV nos. 438-445.

First edition of this humorous depiction of 17th-century life in The Hague by the great Dutch painter, Adriaen van de Venne. The fine frontispiece and plates were engraved following his drawings by Daniél van Bremden, Pieter de Jode the Younger, Pieter Serwouters, and others. Several of the engravings had appeared the previous year in van de Venne’s Sinne-droom, also published in The Hague. Van de Venne was one of the most prolific illustrators of Dutch 17th-century emblem books, most notably those composed by Jacob Cats. There are two issues of page 1: one spells “krijghen” in line 3, the other “krijgen” (as here).

This is a beautifully illustrated “mirror” of Dutch seventeenth-century life. Based upon genre scenes at the annual The Hague Fair, van de Venne captured attitudes and human behaviour that were designed as a guide for proper manners and morals. The work (the title is sometimes also translated as “Scenes of the Laughable World”) comments on the attractions and various types of visitors at the famous annual fair in The Hague and is probably the best example of his work as an author, as well as including some of his finest book illustrations. The theme is explored largely through the device of a dialogue between the young farmer Tamme Lubbert (Soft Johnny) and his sweetheart. They comment on the attractions and visitors at the famous annual fair in The Hague, with a sidebar containing moralizing proverbs and sayings printed in the columns on the outer margins.

Painter, draftsman, and poet, Adriaen van de Venne rejected the international grand manner based on antique models and created a new style based on Holland’s own idioms. Although largely self-taught, he also studied with local painters who may have taught him the grisaille technique–painting in shades of gray–that characterizes his later work. By 1614 he was in Middelburg, where his earliest dated paintings show the influence of the Flemish Jan Brueghel the Elder’s landscapes and of Jan’s father Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s satirical, moralizing peasant vignettes.

Van de Venne began working as a book illustrator, print designer, political propagandist, and poet, collaborating with his brother Jan, a well-known publisher and art dealer. Holland’s leading writers employed Van de Venne, whose illustrations contributed greatly to the popularity of Dutch emblem books, which combined pictures and prose to present a moral lesson. After moving to The Hague and joining the Guild of Saint Luke in 1625, Van de Venne was probably employed at court. In 1640 he became the guild’s dean. He continued his book and printmaking projects and painted most of his well-known grisaille paintings, many depicting the destitute and maimed. – Somewhat browned and spotted throughout, a few pages with a faint stain in the lower half, mainly confined to the lower blank margin, a handwritten exlibris with the date 1656 in the blank lower margin of the title-page, copy with good margins and fine impressions.