Precious gothic edition with woodcuts of the most famous literary work of the French Middle Ages, the only one whose memory has been passing on until mid Renaissance.
Brunet, III, 1175; Tchemerzine, IV, 230; Fairfax Murray n°330.
Love novel and courtly initiatory quest, the Romance of the Rose was written at the beginning of the 13th century by Guillaume de Lorris; about forty years later, almost 18 000 verses by Jean Clopinel, a native from Meung sur Loire completed the poem and contributed to its great popularity.
This work that exerted a significant influence on all the French literature is the allegorical account of a love for a rosebud.
Thus the courtly initiatory quest of the rose by the lover is followed by a more philosophical allegory by Jehan de Meung.
The romance of the rose was the most famous work from the Middle Ages and the first French “classic”.
A beautiful gothic edition, one of the four revised by Marot.
With a fine gothic typography, this edition is decorated with a very beautiful black and red title page, inserted in a fine frame of Renaissance columns and medallions, as well as the many historiated and decorated capitals.
It ends with the large mark of Galliot du Pré. The illustration uses the woodcuts engraved for the previous edition in small format, from 1529.
This illustration is very attractive and comprises 60 nice woodcuts adapted to the text.
“A suite of charming vignettes, some of them with leaves borders (39 x 53 mm), some others more influenced by the art from Basel (40 x 54 mm). They are interesting since they closely illustrate the text and show a real effort of renewal.” (Brun, Le livre illustré français).
Very close from the novel, each of these vignettes composes living paintings evoking the manners of the time and courtly love. One of the vignettes evokes Jehan de Meung writing his work.
A superb wide-margined copy, of this elegant gothic edition, preserved in an outstanding inlaid binding with doublures by Lortic.
It comes from John Whipple Frothingham and Robert Hoe’s collection with their ex libris.