SERGENT-MARCEAU, Antoine-Francois (1751-1847)
Portraits des Grands Hommes, Femmes illustres, et sujets mémorables de France, gravés et imprimée en couleurs
Paris: Pierre Blin, [circa 1792]. Quarto. (13 1/2 x 10 1/4 inches). Engraved throughout, title with head-piece vignette, dedication leaf, 192 plates, printed in colours and finished by hand, after Sergent-Marceau, Desfontaines and others by Sergent-Marceau , Ride, Morret, Roger and others. Uncut. Scattered minor foxing.
Later calf, covers panelled in gilt, spine with raised bands in six compartments, morocco lettering piece, spine gilt
Provenance: Brian Douglas Stilwell (booklabel); Lucius Wilmerding (booklabel)
A fine copy of this fascinating work with decorative portraits of kings, queens, courtiers, politicians, scientists, and writers, and evocative and detailed plates of battles, coronations, discoveries: all colour-printed and heightened with water-colour.
Originally published in 20 parts, each containing 4 plates, the work is composed of 96 oval portraits with the subjects' coats-of-arms and brief biographical details beneath, each followed by a plate of a famous historical event in which the subject played a significant part. The 96 oval or oblong plates have explanatory text beneath. The work is also a technical tour-de-force: each plate had the black register printed first, the various colours were printed on top (in some cases up to four or five different colours), finally the highlights were added by hand.
Includes portraits and scenes from the lives of Louis XVI, Descartes, Charlemagne, Joan of Arc, Nicolas Poussin and more. This copy includes the often lacking allegorical plate celebrating American Independence.
Cohen/de Ricci 951; Matterlin 1976-1978, p.663; Ray F rench 86.