Item #5008 La Grande Danse macabre des hommes et des femmes historiée et Renouvelée de vieux Gaulois, en langage le plus poly de nôtre tems. Dance of Death.
La Grande Danse macabre des hommes et des femmes historiée et Renouvelée de vieux Gaulois, en langage le plus poly de nôtre tems
La Grande Danse macabre des hommes et des femmes historiée et Renouvelée de vieux Gaulois, en langage le plus poly de nôtre tems
La Grande Danse macabre des hommes et des femmes historiée et Renouvelée de vieux Gaulois, en langage le plus poly de nôtre tems
La Grande Danse macabre des hommes et des femmes historiée et Renouvelée de vieux Gaulois, en langage le plus poly de nôtre tems
La Grande Danse macabre des hommes et des femmes historiée et Renouvelée de vieux Gaulois, en langage le plus poly de nôtre tems
La Grande Danse macabre des hommes et des femmes historiée et Renouvelée de vieux Gaulois, en langage le plus poly de nôtre tems
La Grande Danse macabre des hommes et des femmes historiée et Renouvelée de vieux Gaulois, en langage le plus poly de nôtre tems
La Grande Danse macabre des hommes et des femmes historiée et Renouvelée de vieux Gaulois, en langage le plus poly de nôtre tems
La Grande Danse macabre des hommes et des femmes historiée et Renouvelée de vieux Gaulois, en langage le plus poly de nôtre tems
La Grande Danse macabre des hommes et des femmes historiée et Renouvelée de vieux Gaulois, en langage le plus poly de nôtre tems

La Grande Danse macabre des hommes et des femmes historiée et Renouvelée de vieux Gaulois, en langage le plus poly de nôtre tems

Troyes: Jacques Oudot, no date, ca. 1700.

Price: $12,500.00

Quarto: 21.3 x 16 cm. 21.3 x 16 cm. [76] p. Collation: A-I4, K2

Illustrated with a half-page title-woodcut and 59 large woodcuts in the text, Bound in fine 20th cent. green morocco. A fine, fresh copy, with the margins cut very close, occasional shaving a headline, page number, or the text (without loss of sense.) This copy conforms with that in la bibliothèque de Troyes, which dates this edition to ca. 1700. The Dyson-Perrins (1864-1958) copy.

One of the earliest examples of the pictorial cycle and poem known as the Danse Macabre was painted between August 1424 and Lent 1425 in the arcades of the Cimetière des Saints-Innocents (Cemetery of the Holy Innocents) in Paris. These arcades, constructed as charniers to house bones from earlier mass burials, were demolished in 1669, along with their frescoes.

Woodcuts of the Danse copied from the Paris fresco, along with the 67 verses that accompanied the images, were first printed by Guy Marchant at Paris in 1485, with woodcuts designed by Pierre le Rouge. While there were no women in the original Danse, in 1486, Marchant published an all-female version, “La Danse Macabre des Femmes”. In 1486, Marchant united these two texts in the two-volume “Miroer Salutaire”. While Marchant followed the sequence from the Cimetière des Saints-Innocents, he introduced numerous changes, adding new pictorial elements and verses, including 20 additional dancers and the woodcut of the four skeleton musicians.

From the 16th through the 18th centuries, editions of the Danse appeared outside of Paris, printed -with various changes- by French provincial printers in Lyon, Rouen, and Troyes. Over the years, the woodblocks used to print the illustrations in the various Paris editions, worn or damaged from repeated use (and in some instances, lost) were re-cut, with the images reproduced with varying degrees of fidelity to the originals.

The printing history of the Danse in Troyes began in 1493, when Pierre le Rouge’s woodblocks were acquired by his nephew, Nicolas le Rouge, who printed editions of the text into the 1530s. It is in Troyes that the woodcuts were first copied, and further changes were introduced by successive printers.

In 1610, the Troyes printer Noël Moreau, began printing editions of the Danse, using copies of the woodcuts from the Parisian edition published by Marchant, 1490. Moreau added several new images at this point, including the Black man blowing a horn and carrying a spear. According to Mortimer, Moreau also used several original 15th c. blocks in this edition, e.g. (p. 26) the Punishment of the Sin of Luxury (also used in the “Compost et kalendrier des bergiers” of 1497...) and one of the Occupations of the Months (May) from the “Compost” of 1499.

In 1641, Nicolas Oudot’s son (Nicolas Oudot II) printed a new edition, using Moreau’s woodcuts. The last Oudot edition, with the text largely re-written, was printed by Nicolas II’s son and widow in 1729, under the title “La Grande Danse Macabée (sic!)”.

Already in the late 15th c., editions of the Danse had begun to include supplemental texts. Those included in this edition are: “Le débat du corps et de l'ame”, “La complainte de l'ame damnée”, “L'exhortation de bien vivre et de bien mourir”, “La vie du mauvais Antechrist”, and “Les quinze signes du jugement.”. Of these, "La Vie du mauvais Antechrist" (pp. 70-72) is antisemitic. The Antichrist is born of incest by "Un paillard Juif abominable" who knows his own daughter carnally, is nursed by a whore before embarking on his career of destroying Christianity. He comes to Jerusalem where the Jews adore him (he himself is circumcised), but when he attempts a second Ascension from the Mount of Olives he is cast down into a sepulchre at the bottom of hell, and "dix millions ... De ces Juifs l'accompagneront".(Marquand Library).