DIALOGUE SUR LE COLORIS. (bound with:) FIGURES D’ACADEMIE, Pour aprendre à désiner. Gravées Par S.L.C.
Roger de Piles was an important French art critic and theorist. This first edition of his treatise on colouring opened the famous “debate of the colourists” which dominated French esthetic thought at the end of the seventeenth century. The argument which followed divided its participants into two camps with, on one side, an established classical school which held drawing and design to be the essential qualities of great art, while an opposing camp of “modernists”, lead by de Piles, held colouring and the effects of light and shadow to be the most essential elements of pictorial art. Raphael and Poussin stood as the ultimate models for the partisans of design while Rubens and Titian were championed by the colourists. De Piles’ DIALOGUE SUR LE COLORIS (Dialogue On Colouring) was seminal in defining the theoretical viewpoint of this latter, ultimately triumphant, group. He emphasised, in particular, the use of chiaroscuro and first introduced the term clair-obscur to identify this technique. The theories that de Piles first published here influenced art historical discussions long afterwards and find echoes in other later aesthetic arguments between classical and modern schools of art. As usual, his DIALOGUE SUR LE COLORIS is found here bound with another work, in this case the first edition of Sébastien Le Clerc’s FIGURES D’ACADEMIE POUR APRENDRE À DÉSINER, also published by Langlois. Le Clerc’s work offers a series of muscular male nude studies of mythological or classical figures. It is now reasonably rare, with OCLC locating 12 copies outside of France, of which only 3 are in North American libraries Invention Of The Term “Clair-Obscur” Berlin Catalogue 4619 for both items.
Contemporary full calf with careful restorations at corners and head and heel of spine; faded gilt tooled compartments and gilt titling compartment to spine; interior clean and tight.
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