The Art of Painting in Miniature: by BOUTET, Claude (fl.…

BOUTET, Claude (fl. 1674-1708), attributed.

The Art of Painting in Miniature: Teaching the speedy and perfect Acquisition of that Art without a Master. Done from the Original French. London, G. Smith [&c], 1729.

First Edition in English. 8vo (170 x 100 mm), pp. [x], 100, [6], ornamental head- and tail-pieces, final pages a little creased, in contemporary unlettered panelled calf, some light wear, with the contemporary booklabel of Anna Maria Powell.

A delightful guide to painting for the amateur artist, including detailed instructions on the preparation of colours, techniques for painting draperies, flowers, trees, landscapes and portraits. First published as Traité de la peinture en mignature, Paris, Christophe Ballard, 1674, it rapidly became one of the most influential painting manuals of the age. This is its first appearance in English. It was extremely popular and was reprinted in 1730, 1739, 1750 and 1752, all early editions now being very scarce.
‘And ‘tis certain, there are Thousands of Persons in Great Britain, as well as in other Nations, who have a greater Passion for this Art than they have Opportunity to cultivate it. THe Country affords but few Painters, whose Instructions are of any Value; and good Pieces of this kind are very rare among us; while great Numbers of both Sexes, of Fortune and Leisure, who with a Genius for Painting are devoted to a Country-Life, languish away many a heavy Hour for want of some Intelligence in this Art, which they might pass very agreeably with a little Skill in it: And, perhaps, a rural Life, or a Recess in the Country, cannot be sweeten’d by a more elegant Amusement’ (The Preface of the Translator, pp. viii-ix).

ESTC n29989, at BL, Cambridge, Glasgow, Huntington and Clark only; OCLC adds V&A.

Keywords: The Arts
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