Les Fables d'Esope Phrygien: Traduction Nouuelle. Illustrée de Discours Moraux, Philosophiques & Politiques
. Chez Iean & David Berthelin , Chez Jean & David Berthelin . Paris ,
Language note: French
PA3855.F7 1660 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
Language note: French
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Fabula Docet lists three Baudoin editions in its catalogue (#12, 17, 123). Baudoin's first edition in 1631 in Paris contained only 117 Aesopic fables, reportedly translated by Pierre Boissat. With the ethical and political commentary promised in the title, the book already came to 653 pages! For the new edition in 1645, Baudoin broadened the vita and in 1649 he added 18 fables of Franciscus Philelphus (1398-1481). Fabula Docet also presents on 100 the Paris edition of 1659 published by Jean Du Bray. The picture of Aesop as frontispiece to his vita there seems to be the source in mirror-reverse-view for mine here facing the beginning of the vita. (Roman page numbers run through the life and T of C, and start anew at Roman 1 for the fables.) Bodemann (#67) says of the 1631 edition that its Aesopic fables follow the selection and sequence of the anonymous French collection of 1547. She lists several derivative Baudoin editions--all including the fables of Philelphus--but not this one. The title-plate of this copy is noteworthy. A strong figure at its center holds the instruments of military and hunting power and communicates with the animals arranged below him. I find in this copy 118 fables listed, and I do not see any reference to Philelphus. The whole work finishes on 638. Generally, a fable in large print about a page long is followed by a discourse in small print about two pages long. Some of the discourses reach considerable length; CP (551) seems to get the record with almost seventeen pages of discourse! There is already a hint here of the way Croxall will build sermons on top of the fables! OF (200) allows a reader to catch breath, since it has not a discours but only a remarque. Every fable has an impressive numbered full-page copper-plate, like those in the 1631 edition always on the left side facing the beginning of the fable. Sometimes, as on 201, that means leaving a whole right page blank. The source for the visual motifs is Gheeraerts, as can be seen clearly in The Satyr and the Traveller (574). DS (16) is the first to have Marie Briot sc inscribed, and it is one of the best illustrations. Du Laboureur et du Serpent (28) is another strong Briot illustration. The Dog and the Ass (100) is also strong. The illustrations, e.g. of the master's face here, can have so much more detail than smaller ones I have been looking at recently, like those of Chauveau or Remondini. In FK (118), Jupiter in the heavens already has the log in his hand. The Thief and the Dog (130) represents more good work. The clear vase in FS (166) allows the fox to see what he is missing inside it. The Man and the Lion (308) reverses the monument-relief's lie right before our eyes. The cut-away of the well is curious in The Fox and the Wolf (350). 2W (426) shows a man with a curious facial expression as both women work diligently on him. I had to hand carry this book in my travels from Cheltenham to Naples and through Germany. We became very good friends!