Bibliothèque Nationale. [n.d c.1839.]
Mixed-method, coloured; paper watermarked Blacons. Plate 325 x 215mm. 12¾ x 8½". Four worm holes.
A representation of various costumes; and a musical concert with a boy choir to the right. From "Monuments français inédits pour servir à l'histoire des arts depuis le Vie siècle jusqu'au commencement du XVIIe". Willemin's ambition was to present a parallel of antique and French art and design, but this proved an impossible task, and Willemin, perhaps spurred on by the revival of interest in medieval art across the Channel, decided to devote the latter half of his career to the production of the present volumes, chronicling the best examples of French design of the mediaeval and early renaissance period by examples taken from buildings, works of art, books and manuscripts. Willemin started work on it in 1806 (the engraved title leaf to the first volume bears this date), but he died in 1833 before the plates were quite finished, and it was left to his daughter to arrange for the engravings of the last of the plates and to commission an explanatory text from André Pottier. Willemin was the first to provide such accurate illustrations of French mediaeval decorative art and his plates had considerable influence in forming contemporary taste. It may be noted that he was a personal friend of Augustus Pugin senior, who allowed objects from his personal collection of mediaeval antiquities to be illustrated on one of the plates, and that the frontispiece to the younger Pugin's True Principles was evidently adapted from Willemin's illustration of King René of Anjou in his study.
[Ref: 26641] £80.00