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Of one of the most influential seventeenth-century treatises on perspective

NICERON, Jean-François.
La perspective curieuse du reverend P. Niceron. Minime divisee en quatre livres. Loptique et la catoptrique du R. P. Mersenne du meseme ordre, mise en lumiere aprés la mort de lautheur. Oeuvre tres-utile aux peintres, architects, sculpteurs graveurs, & à tous autres qui se meslent du dessein.
Paris, Jean du Puis, 1663.
Including: MERSENNE, Marin. L'optique et la catoptrique du reverend Pere Mersenne minime. Novvellement mise en lumiere, aprés lar mort de lautheur. Paris, the widow of F. Langlois, 1651.
2 works in 1 volume. Folio. With a (partially) folded full page engraved portrait of the author as a frontispiece, an engraved title-page, a large woodcut vignette on the title-page, 50 full page engraved plates (including 1 folding), all numbered in a decorative banner in the plate.Contemporary or near contemporary (late 17th or early 18th century) brown calf. [1], [1 blank], [1], [1 blank], [8], 191, [1]; [1], [1 blank], [10], 134, [2 blank] pp.
€ 3,950
Jean-François Niceron (1613-1646) was a multi-talented individual who excelled in mathematics, painting and engraving, and a member of the scholarly order of the Minimes. He had a keen interest in optics and made significant contributions to this field. Niceron's Perspective, his most famous work today, is a practical publication that resulted from his extensive study of perspective theory. He observed that the illustrations in earlier treatises on this subject were often flawed and that the accompanying texts were too complicated for readers without prior knowledge. Niceron's intention in writing his book was to create an easily understandable treatise on perspective that could benefit a wide range of professionals, including painters, architects, sculptors, engineers and anyone involved in drawing. He believed that the principles of perspective could be explained through methods based on natural observation, such as taking geometric measurements from the human body.
Mersenne was considered one of the foremost geometricians of the 17th century and maintained relationships with some of the leading scholars of Europe, including Galileo, as a correspondent and intermediary. He also developed principles related to the telescope and reflection well before Gregory and Newton wrote about them. In 1640, Mersenne embarked on a scientific journey to southern France and Italy, followed by a second trip to Italy in 1641, and a third in 1644-1645. His Optique, consists of 31 propositions published in French, rather than Latin, with a focus on practical application, although it likely held less value than Niceron's Perspective, with which it was paired. The Catoptrique consists of 16 propositions, refers to the study of reflections, reflecting surfaces, and mirrors in optics.
With an owner's inscription on the front paste-down "N. Krogstius[?] No 3" and four manuscript annotations - referring to the number of the corresponding plate or elaborating on the text - in the margins of pp. 97, 98, 157 and 167, one in ink and three in pencil. The binding shows signs of wear, front hinge cracked, small worm holes in the boards. Some (near) contemporary waste paper visible in the gutters of the first and last flyleaves showing a cursive manuscript text in brown ink. The leaves are cut slightly short, barely affecting any text, slightly browned throughout (varying from quire to quire). Plates 49 and 50 are bound upside down and thus placing plate 49 after plate 50. Otherwise in good condition. Caillet, 7972; Cicognara, 849 (1638 edition); DSB, X, pp. 103; Hofer, Baroque book illustration, 41; The Millard architectural collection, French 124.
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Art, architecture & photography  >  Architecture & Gardens
Science & technology  >  Optics & Perspective