Cours complet d’anatomie, peint et gravé en couleurs naturelles. Arnaud-Éloi GAUTIER d’AGOTY, Nicolas JADELOT, author, or 1783.
Cours complet d’anatomie, peint et gravé en couleurs naturelles.
Cours complet d’anatomie, peint et gravé en couleurs naturelles.
Cours complet d’anatomie, peint et gravé en couleurs naturelles.
Cours complet d’anatomie, peint et gravé en couleurs naturelles.
Cours complet d’anatomie, peint et gravé en couleurs naturelles.
Cours complet d’anatomie, peint et gravé en couleurs naturelles.
Cours complet d’anatomie, peint et gravé en couleurs naturelles.
Cours complet d’anatomie, peint et gravé en couleurs naturelles.
Cours complet d’anatomie, peint et gravé en couleurs naturelles.
Cours complet d’anatomie, peint et gravé en couleurs naturelles.
Cours complet d’anatomie, peint et gravé en couleurs naturelles.
Cours complet d’anatomie, peint et gravé en couleurs naturelles.

Cours complet d’anatomie, peint et gravé en couleurs naturelles.

Nancy: Jean-Baptiste-Hyacinthe LeClerc, 1773.

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Imperial folio: 64 x 48 cm. 2 leaves, 25 pages and 15 colour mezzotint plates.

FIRST EDITION, all published.

A fine copy of this magnificent book, bound in contemporary green vellum, somewhat rubbed and spotted, re-backed. Some marginal spotting and thumbing, waterstaining to lower inner blank margin and upper, outer corner of 3 plates, slight crease in image on final plate, a few marginal tears. Illustrated with 15 very large, striking anatomical mezzotint plates in full color.

Arnaud-Éloi Gautier d’Agoty (c.1715 - 1785) was the son and successor to the anatomist, artist, and printer Jacques Fabien Gautier d'Agoty (1716–1785), who was assistant and successor to the master painter, engraver, and pioneer of colour printing Jacob Christophe Le Blon (1667 - 1741). Arnaud-Éloi employed his father’s innovative four-color mezzotint process, an augmented version of Le Blon’s own (three-color) printing technique.

The fifteen large plates in this volume illustrate a text by Nicolas (also Jean-Nicolas) Jadelot, physician, anatomist, and professor of anatomy and physiology at l’Université de Nancy. For his “Cours”, Jadelot envisioned a work in five parts but only part one was completed. The series of plates begins with two images of a man and woman, depicted as Venus and Apollo, and continues with renderings of the skeletal and muscular systems, with detail plates of the head, feet, hands, etc.

‘The three-color process had been invented by Jacob Christophe Le Blon a native of Frankfurt-am-Main, about 1720. He made his first attempts at color printing in Holland, and worked later in London and Paris. He used separate blocks inked with the pigment colors yellow, blue and red, and obtained some gradation through heavy mezzotinting or scraping and through varying the amount of color inking.

Gautier d’Agoty augmented Le Blon’s method by the use of a fourth, black plate, which permitted shadows and contrast. After Le Blon’s death, Gautier d’Agoty claimed this as an innovation (he also changed the order in which the plates were printed) and was awarded a royal privilege for this enhanced method. However, the heirs of Le Blon protested, Gautier d’Agoty’s privilege was revoked, and the printer was compelled to buy the privilege from the Le Blons.

“Pour instruire les hommes, il faudrait les séduire par l’attrait du plaisir, et comment donner de l’agrément à l’image de la mort ? […]. Il n’est qu’un seul moyen de rendre l’Anatomie intéressante et facile, c’est d’offrir les objets avec leurs couleurs naturelles.”

"To educate men, you would have to seduce them with the attraction of pleasure (aesthetics), and how do you make the image of death pleasing? […]. There is only one way to make Anatomy interesting and easy, and that is to offer objects in their natural colors. "(From the preface)

About the author:

Nicolas (also Jean-Nicolas) Jadelot, physician and professor of anatomy and physiology, was the grandson of an apothecary and eldest son of Joseph Jadelot, professor of anatomy and dean of the Faculty of Medicine of Pont-à-Mousson.

In 1763 Nicolas was appointed professor of chair of anatomy and physiology at l’Université de Nancy by letters patent from the Duke of Lorraine Stanislas Leszczynski. Jadelot was a member of the Société royale des sciences et belles-lettres de Nancy, as well as of the Collège royal de médecine.

In addition to the “Cours complet d’anatomie”, Jadelot wrote “La Pharmacopée des pauvres”(1784-5), “le Tableau de l’économie animale” (1769), and “le mémoire De la cause de la pulsation des artères” (1771).

“The delightful Apollo and Venus starting the theme were of course prepared in four mezzotint plates by Arnauld-Éloi, but painted by a Nancy artist, Jean Girardet, who died five years later... They are certainly stunning examples from neo-classical France, reproduced with sophisticated art by the Gautier d’Agoty process” (Franklin, Early Colour Printing pp. 49-50).

Choulant-Frank p. 273; Singer, Arnauld-Eloi Gautier d’Agoty, 1-15; Wellcome Institute F.432, p 97