Myologie complette en couleur et grandeur naturelle, composee de l'essai et de la suite de l'essai d'anatomie, en tableaux imprimes. Paris: Gautier, Quillau father and son, and Lamesle, 1745-1746.
Large folio (760 x 535 mm). Main title page printed in red and black, 25 text leaves (including title pages), 20 hand-colored plates, all window-mounted within or laid down to larger leaves, with an additional anatomical watercolor bound in at the front. 20th century three-quarter morocco and beige cloth by Sangorski and Sutcliffe. Dampstaining (incurred after binding), watercolor with some mildew stains, front free endpaper creased, foxing, some repaired tears.
Provenance Property from the Collection of Richard Harris.
Gautier was a student of Le Blon, who has first demonstrated the mezzotint color technique in the 1720s. Le Blon had recognized the utility of his process for the production of depth in anatomical illustration, but his one attempt to process mezzotints for publication went unpublished. D'Agoty obtained a thirty-year privilege to Le Blon's process upon his death in 1741, adding a fourth (black) plate as a refinement. For an additional charge, he would offer varnished versions of the images, which give an impression resembling oil paintings, something never before attempted in anatomical illustration. Although Choulant writes that "his anatomic illustrations ... impress the critical observer with their arrogance and charlatanry and do not recommend themselves to the student of anatomy either for their faithfulness and reliability or for their technique," they are of great interest from the point of view of book illustration and the history of anatomic illustration. The life-sized plates could be mounted as full-figure illustrations for instructional purposes (Choulant-Frank, pp 270-74). Franklin, Early Colour Printing, 43-44; Wellcome II, p 97.