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Du Bos, Réflexions critiques sur la poésie et la peinture, 1740.

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€1.200,00 EUR
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Definitive edition of a landmark study of aesthetics


Abbé du Bos [= Jean-Baptiste Du Bos (1670-1742)].

Réflexions critiques sur la poésie et la peinture.

Paris, Mariette, 1740.


3 volumes. 12°. [XII], 488, [IV]; [VIII], 566; [VI], 399, [1 blank], [73], 1 blank] pp. With woodcut title vignettes.

Contemporary calf with gold-tooled spines, red title-shields and red sprinkled sides. Marbled endpapers.

Uncommon but important edition of a turning point in aesthetic thought. This is the last edition that Du Bos edited himself and is therefore regarded as the definitive and authoritative edition that should be referred to when citing this work (Stanford).
First published in 1719, the Réflexions critiques sur la poésie et la peinture exercised a considerable influence on the development of art and music throughout the Age of Enlightenment. It marks the foundation of a new aesthetic of perception, based on feeling. Du Bos, deeply influenced by his friend John Locke, states that art cannot only be beautiful, but must also move hearts: “Le sublime de la poésie et de la peinture est de toucher et de plaire". Du Bos thus became a founder of sensibility, at a time of Cartesian rationalism. The impact of the text was considerable. It was highly praised by Voltaire in a number of his writings and formed the basis of the fine arts sections of Diderot and d’Alembert's Encyclopaedia. A generation later, Jean-Jacques Rousseau would radicalize the principles of Du Bos.

Condition: bindings slightly rubbed, otherwise in very good condition. Seller’s bookplate on front pastedown of vol. 1: “Maire, libraire, rue Mercière, no 46, à Lyon”; owner’s inscription in pen repeated on the first free endpapers: “patri Duvant” dated 1802.

Désirat, Dominique, "Le Sixième Sens de l’Abbé Dubos : à propos des Réflexions critiques sur la poésie et sur la peinture", La Licorne 23, July 18, 2005.
Young, James O. and Margaret Cameron, "Jean-Baptiste Du Bos", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2019 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.).

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