Les Fables d'Esope Phrygien Illustrées de Discours Moraux, Philosophiques, et Politiques
. Chez François Foppens/Chez Jean de Bonnot . Brussels/Paris
Language note: French
PA3855.F5 B48 1988 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
Language note: French
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If there were a single original behind this book, it would fit between Bodemann #67.2 by Jean du Bray (1659) and #67.3 by Foppens (1682). Bonnot's introduction speaks of taking up the translation of Baudoin and Boissat published in 1633; I do not find this edition in Bodemann. Bonnot calls the illustrations chosen for this edition les plus délicieuses jamais gravées par un artiste pour les Fables d'Ésope and writes that they come from an unknown Flemish master of the sixteenth century. He takes them from an edition done in Anvers in 1593. A special feature of this volume, I believe, is the Index Illustré at the end which presents the thirty illustrations for each of the thirty chapters on Aesop's life and the one-hundred-and-sixteen illustrations for each of the fables in enlarged form--about 3½ x 2½--by contrast with their appearance with the standard chapters and fables, when they are about 2 x 1½. What this volume lacks--on its title-page and in the book itself-- by contrast with both #67.1 and #67.2 is Nouvelle Edition. Augmentée de beaucoup en divers endroits. Ou sont adiovstées les Fables de Philadelphe. #67.3 drops the material from Philadelphe but keeps the other additions that go beyond the book in hand. #67.3 has thirty illustrations to the vita, as here, but one-hundred-and-seventeen fable illustrations, as opposed to the one-hundred-and-sixteen here. Did Bonnot perhaps drop one of Baudoin's texts because the Anvers volume had no illustration for it? Bonnot's watermark (crossed canons) on the paper is clear on pages like 339. Some fable numbers--like Fable XLIII on 197, LXXXIV on 279, and LXXXIX on 289--have no punctuation after the number. The rest have a period. The pattern seems repeated in the Index Illustré. The figures in the illustrations, both human and animal, are rather full-bodied. Perhaps the most vigorous of the illustrations of the life of Aesop is the last, showing him pushed off of the cliff and losing his cap in the process. Among the fables, some of the liveliest illustrations belong to Fable XXIV (the old dog chases a stag); LIII (stag and horse); LXIII (OR); LXXXI (the book-thief and his mother); and C (the envious and greedy men). This is a splendid volume in red leather. Is that a hand-signature from Bonnot on the third page?