Woodcut vignette on title. 26 pp. 8vo (182 x 126 mm.), late 19th-cent. citron morocco backed-marbled boards, title on spine. Paris: Basan, 1773.
A very scarce auction catalogue dispersing Vassé’s collection and the contents of his studio; WorldCat and the Getty Provenance Index record no copy in North America. The sculptor Vassé (1716-72), a favorite pupil of Bouchardon and later professor at the Académie Royale, “was ambitious, and he was aided in his desire for a prestigious career by the collector and antiquary the Comte de Caylus, who in turn hoped through Vassé to bring about a return to Classical ideals in French sculpture…Contemporaries criticized Vassé for his often unscrupulous ambition, but he was nevertheless one of the most gifted sculptors of Louis XV’s reign. Although often somewhat programmatic in his approach to Classicism, he was also capable of great delicacy of modelling and a certain charm.”–Oxford Art Online.
This catalogue, compiled by the respected dealer François Basan (1723-97), begins with a succinct biography of Vassé, which is accompanied by a short list of the sculptor’s works, including his celebrated funerary sculpture. It then describes 200 lots of sculptures, paintings, drawings, and prints. We find paintings by Vernet, F. Boucher, Largillière; sculptures by Bouchardon, Vassé’s father, François Antoine, and Vassé himself; and drawings and sketches executed by Bouchardon, Vassé, Le Brun, Boucher, Rembrandt, Parrocel, Greuze, etc. The final section (lots 160-200), composed of print suites and books, features the great works of Caylus, Oppenord, Le Clerc, Vasari, Duhamel du Monceau, Palladio, Dezallier d’Argenville, etc. A later annotator (early 19th century) has added a handful of prices in pencil.
In nice condition, despite the shaving to the head of most leaves which has trimmed the headpiece on leaf A2. With the engraved bookplate of G[eorges] P[annier] (1853-1944), the Parisian art dealer and collector of early art auction catalogues, on the front paste-down.
❧ Lugt 2102.
Item ID: 7106