Fine, fresh example, attractively bound, of the most elaborate history of world religion published up to that time, profusely illustrated with more than 300 engravings.
Picart ‘earned a place in the history of Jewish art by his realistic portrayal of Jewish religious rites. These constitute an invaluable record of Dutch Jewry in the early eighteenth century… [He] sought out Jews in the synagogue and in their homes in order to acquaint himself with their ceremonies. In his picture of a Passover celebration the artist himself can be seen, hatless, participating in a meal.’ (Ency. Judaica, 13, 498). Other volumes cover Islam, the Americas, the Quakers and Hinduism in detail.
Despite condemnation from the Catholic church, the publication of this work was a resounding success. ‘Ceremonies and customs prepared the ground for religious toleration amid seemingly unending religious conflict, and demonstrated the impact of the global on Western consciousness […] as it shaped the development of a modern, secular understanding of religion.’ (Hunt)
The present second edition is the first published in France (after Amsterdam), with a text much corrected and sometimes fully rewritten by Lemascrier, who is also the author of a group of dissertations on the same subject, included here for the first time.
7 vol. Folio (30 x 45 cm). Engraved frontispiece complete with 232 engraved plates including 32 folding, and 95 engravings in text, including head and tail pieces by Gravelot, titles printed in red and black with a repeated engraved vignette by Cochin; outer margin of 3 leaves in vol. 2 sometime reinforced. Contemporary calf, spines with raised bands gilt in compartments, red and orange morocco labels lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers, red egdes; neat restoration to joints and head and foot of spines.
Provenance: Saint-Antoine (Rouen, France; neat latin inscription to titles).
Brunet I, 1743; Sabin 4931; Cf. L. Hunt, The Book that Changed Europe: Picart & Bernard’s Religious Ceremonies of the World (Harvard UP, 2010).
Stock ID: 90296