"A STOREHOUSE OF DELIGHTFUL KNOWLEDGE": SPLENDID SIX-VOLUME SET OF JAMESON'S LANDMARK SACRED AND LEGENDARY ART SERIES, BEAUTIFULLY BOUND IN FULL MOROCCO BY RIVIERE
JAMESON, (Anna Brownell). Sacred and Legendary Art. WITH: Legends of the Monastic Orders. WITH: Legends of the Madonna. WITH: History of Our Lord. London: Longmans, Green / Longmans, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green, 1865-1870. Six volumes uniformly bound. Octavo, contemporary full crushed brown morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $3200.
1865-70 mixed edition set of the profusely illustrated six-volume history of sacred art by Anna Brownell Jameson—ranked by Bernard Berenson "among the other 19th-century pioneers of art history"—splendidly bound by Riviere in ornately gilt full morocco.
Jameson's major six-volume Sacred and Legendary Art series is "a storehouse of delightful knowledge, as admirable for accurate research as for poetic and artistic feeling" (DNB). Her initial two-volume work in the series, Sacred and Legendary Art (1848), is "the first systematic study of Christian iconography in the English language… Jameson discusses Christian symbolism without arguing its supremacy through personal religious faith. Her dispassionate prose shows the detachment of the historian rather than the polemicist or critic." She followed this with Legends of Monastic Orders (1850) and Legends of the Madonna (1852). Toward the end of her life she began work on History of Our Lord but died before its completion. Her close friend Lady Eastlake completed and issued History posthumously in 1864. "Bernard Berenson ranked Jameson among the other 19th-century pioneers of art history including Luigi Lanzi, Karl Schnaase and Ruskin… Jameson represents the best 19th-century art writing without consultation of primary documents. Drawing upon Vasari's Lives and Handbuch der Geschichte der Malerei by Kugler, she fearlessly, if politely, debunked many myths of art and argued for a more direct public appreciation of art" (Sorenson, Dictionary of Art Historians, emphasis added). All volumes richly illustrated with full-page and in-text woodcuts and etchings, including frontispieces, many from original works of art by Raphael, Giotto, da Vinci and other great masters. Sixth edition of Sacred and Legendary Art; fourth edition each of Legends of Monastic Orders, Legends of the Madonna; second edition of History of Our Lord. Vols I & II of Sacred and Legendary Art partially serialized in Athenaeum (1845-46). Lowndes 1190. Allibone 953. Each volume with contemporary owner signature dated 1888.
Volume I with expert repairs to joints. A handsome about-fine set bound by Riviere in full morocco.