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First edition

MOLIERE Oeuvres de Molière


François BOUCHER (1703-1770) & Charles COYPEL

Oeuvres de Molière

Imprimerie de P. Prault, Paris 1734, in-4 (22x29cm), (6) lxx ; 330pp. et (6) 446pp. et (6) 442pp. et (6) 420pp. et (6) 618pp. et (6) 554pp., 6 volumes reliés.

First printing (with the error « comteese » to line 12 on page 360 of volume VI) of this illustrated edition with a portrait by Coypel engraved by Lepicié, a fleuron on the title repeated for each volume, 33 figures by François Boucher engraved by Laurent Cars, and 198 vignettes and tail-pieces (several repeated) by Boucher, Blondel and Oppenord, engraved by Cars and Joullain.

Contemporary brown calf, spine in six compartments with red and green morocco title and volume labels, gilt frames and fleurons, triple blindruled fillet frame to covers, double gilt fillets to edges of covers, gilt dentelle frame to pastedowns and marbled endpapers, all edges speckled red.

Skillful repairs to some joints, corners, and head- and tail-pieces. Two small paper faults to frontispiece, not significant. Repaired tear without lack, repaired using a strip of paper to verso of title page of first volume.

A painter at the court of Louis XV and protégé of Madame de Pompadour, of whom he painted a number of portraits, François Boucher (1703-1770) was one of the major artists of the Rococo movement in France. Influenced by Watteau’s fêtes galantes, he made the rococo a style in which the erotic treatment of the body was associated with a theatricality of movement and attitude in settings where artifice, winning out over realism, broke with the everyday, giving the paintings a newfound sensuality. These characteristics justify his work on the Works of Molière : his style, flexible and fluid, sits well with the intrigues – some amorous, some familial – of the playwright and makes for pleasing illustrations to the text.

Ex libris pasted to each front pastedown with the name of Jacques-Marie Jérôme Michau de Montaran, master of Ordinary Requests at the Hôtel du Roi.

A fine copy in a contemporary binding, illustrated by one of the most influential artists of the French Rococo style.


Réf : 55321

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