Fables de la Fontaine
Paris: Garnier Freres, 1854.
Paris: Garnier Freres, 1854. Early printing of this illustrated edition, first published in 1838-40. Large octavo (10 1/2 x 7 inches; 266 x 178 mm.). Publisher's quarter green morocco over green pebbled cloth over boards. Covers ruled in blind, spine with four raised bands, decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, watered silk paper end-leaves, all edges gilt. Collating , xxiv, 598, [1, epitaph], [3, blank]. Inserted engraved frontispiece and 240 engraved illustrations of the fables as well as numerous engraved head and tail pieces. A Near Fine copy.
"In these designs, the most popular he ever drew, Grandville presents La Fontaine's beasts acting like men and sometimes costumed like them. Since La Fontaine's poems are a veiled commentary on human behavior, this formula works to admiration. Even Oudry's drawings do not always match Grandville's in psychological penetration, however superior they may be in other respects. Grandville is effective as well with uncostumed animals, even if he sometimes took them from Buffon rather than from life, but less so with human subjects" (Ray). (Item #3656)