¶ Aesop — Vita et fabulae (1486)

September 5, 2014


Aesop [Aesopus]. Vita et fabulae. Antwerp: Gerard Leeu, 26 September 1486.


Note by Morris on flyleaf: “The cuts in this Aesop are copied from the earlier woodcuts of the Ulm and Augsburg editions, but are not literal reproductions of them. They cannot be said to be as well cut as their originals, or to have the same spirit and ease of drawing. At the same time they show a greater feeling for decorative effect than the German cuts do. It may be noted for instance than [that] in most cases the Flemish designer has substituted clean drawn bunches of ornamental leafage for the mere fuzzy heads of trees in the earlier designs: he also shows his appreciation of the value of black as a colour by taking advantage of the shoes, bells, & other masses: altogether these cuts are a very successful and ornamental series; and in conjunction with Gerard Leeu’s delicate and beautiful black letter, and his telling and finely designed woodcut capitals (not to mention the neat and pretty painted letters of this copy) make a very beautiful book. (WM)”

Provenance: Morris. — Richard Bennett. — J. Pierpont Morgan. — Morgan Library (ChL1701).

References: Ellis valuation, fol. 1b, no. 1 (£45). — ISTC (ia00114000). — Morgan Cat. 3, no. 650.

Digital version: Vědecká knihovna, Olomouc.


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