Second, Expanded Edition of Labarte’s Catalog

Second, Expanded Edition of Labarte’s Catalog

When the remaining objects of the family collection were sold in 1850, the demand for Labarte’s book increased, and the publisher Didron pressed Labarte to agree to produce a second edition. He refused for several years, but, in the meantime, he loaned the original woodcuts to a publisher in London for the publication of an English translation of his introductory text (Hollis # 1569006). In the preface, the translator Fanny Palliser (1805–1878) explains: “It gives a complete history of the origin and development of the decorative arts during the Mediaeval and Renaissance periods; and, as we have no work in English on the same subject, and the French catalogue has been long out of print, it has been thought that a translation, divested of references to that well-known Collection, would be of interest and use. The work of M. Labarte deserves on every account to be known and circulated.”

Labarte and his publisher took advantage of the popularity of his first book and advances in book illustrations for a revised edition. He expanded the text and added enough high-quality illustrations to fill four volumes, which appeared in 1864-1866. The publisher used a combination of traditional engravings, photolithography, and chromolithography for the illustrations, which critics praised for their photo-like accuracy and rich colors. In an effort to reduce cost, the next edition, published in 1872-1875, includes fewer plates. For the illustrations, the publisher reused some of the blocks from the 1860s edition, but he also experimented with the latest technique, heliography.

 
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