This is the second vernacular French emblem book, appearing shortly
after Guillaume de la Perrieres
Theatre des bons engins also published by Denis Janot. It seems
to have been well received, since further editions followed in close
succession. At this early stage in the history of the genre, less than
ten years after the first published edition of Alciatos emblems,
and only four after the first to include a French version, the generic
expectations had by no means stabilised. Thus it will be seen that neither
of these two works correspond to the tripartite structure generally
regarded as typical. These editions by Denis Janot can be regarded as
particularly fine examples of Parisian printing.
Gilles Corrozet (1510-1568)
Gilles Corrozet was a true Renaissance figure: he was both a publisher
and a man of letters and historian, even a philosopher, in his own right.
A self-made man who undertook no formal university studies, he was moved
by the desire to instruct others and to bring learning to a wide public.
Among his historical works are two on the history of Paris (La fleur
des antiquitez de la noble et triumphante ville de Paris, Paris,
1532 and Les antiquitez, histoires et singularitez de Paris (Paris
1552), as well as ones concerning other French towns and Spain. His
linguistic skills and his philosophical interest are reflected in his
Diffinition et perfection de lamour (Paris: D. Janot, 1541-1542),
a French version of Marsilio Ficinos commentary on Platos
Symposium. More closely related to his emblematic endeavours
are his Blasons domestiques, as well as his Historiarum Veteris
Testamenti Icones (Lyon, 1539) with woodcuts by Holbein, the Simulaches
et historiees faces de la mort (Lyon, 1538), his translation of
Aesop (Paris, 1542), and his Tapisserie de léglise chrétienne
(Paris, n. d.). He is responsible for one further proper emblematic
Emblemes which appear in the back of his Tableau de Cebes
(Paris: Denis Janot, 1543).
(for more information F.189-191, 193, 195-198)
The Parisian printer Denis Janot was responsible for the first four
official editions of the Hecatomgraphie, in 1540 (reproduced
here) Link to bibliog descrip, 1541, 1543 and 1544: this last
edition (titled Hecatomgraphie) is dated 1543, but the typography
indicates that it was in fact printed in 1544. By the third and fourth
editions, significant revision of the text has taken place. An unillustrated
pirate edition was brought out by Denis de Harsy, undated but probably
in late 1540. Janots successor, Etienne Groulleau, brought out
a further edition, using the same woodcuts, in 1548. Two editions appear
in Lyons, using different woodcuts and with a different title: La
fleur des sentences certaines, apophthegmes, et stratagemes (Lyons;
Valence: Philibert Rollet and Barthélemy Frain for Claude de
la Ville, 1548 and 1549), and La fleur des sentences moralles
(Lyons: Balthasar Arnoullet, 1551). In these editions, an Italian motto
is added to each emblem.
26 emblems from the Hecatomgraphie, along with 32 from Guillaume
de la Perrières Theatre de bons engins, were included
in an anthology of moralising verses published in several editions by
Etienne Groulleau from 1548, entitled Le Jardin dhonneur.
(See BFEB F.346-50)
Gilles Corrozets Hecatomgraphie, Paris, Denis Janot,
This work, consisting of one hundred emblems, has a distinctive structure,
with each emblem occupying a full spread.
GUL: SMAdd385: I8v-K1r. Actual page height: 152mm.
The verso page, contains a motto/title, the woodcut and a quatrain,
and the facing recto a longer verse text which is often divided into
strophes. Sometimes the longer text has been regarded as a mere commentary
rather than an integral part of the emblem, but in fact the emblems
cannot be properly understood without this longer text and we are merely
witnessing an alternative structure. The relationship between the four
parts is variable. Most, though not all, of the woodcuts were produced
specially for this edition. The series of editions by Janot, with their
decorative woodcut frames, are fine examples of Parisian printing.
Select Secondary Bibliography
Alison Adams, Stephen Rawles, Alison Saunders, A Bibliography of
French Emblem Books, 2 vols (Geneva: Droz, 1999-2002): entries F.189-199
cover editions of Corrozet; this edition is entered as F.189
[LINK TO BIBLIOG DESCRIP]
Corrozet, Gilles, LHecatomgraphie (1544) & Les Emblemes
du Tableau de Cebes (1543), reproduits en facsimilé avec
une étude critique par Alison Adams (Genève: Droz, 1997).
Corrozet, Gilles, Hecatomgraphie, 1540, introductory note by
Alison Saunders (Ilkley: Scolar Press, 1974).
Alison Saunders, Emblem Books for a Popular Audience? Gilles
Corrozets Hecatomgraphie and Emblèmes, Australian Journal
of French Studies 17 (1980), 5-29.
Alison Adams, Textual Development in Corrozets Hecatomgraphie,
Emblematica 8.1 (1994), 43-59.
Stephen Rawles, Corrozets Hecatomgraphie: Where did the
Woodcuts come from and where did the go?, Emblematica 3.1
Page written by Alison Adams.
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