L'ARDECHE AND VERNET'S PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF NAPOLEON, 1839 FIRST EDITION
(NAPOLEON) (VERNET, Horace, illustrator) L'ARDECHE, Laurent de. Histoire de L'Empereur Napoléon… Illustrée par Horace Vernet. Paris: J.-J. DuBochet, 1839. Large octavo, modern three-quarter dark green morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers. $850.
First edition of this history of Napoleon, with frontispiece of Napoleon on horseback and hundreds of in-text wood-engraved illustrations by Horace Vernet.
"We have seen how Horace Vernet… helped to further the Napoleonic tradition in France… This biography with 500 vignettes after Vernet appeared in the same year as Norvins' Histoire de Napoleon [with illustrations by Raffet]. Vernet's designs follow the same plan as Raffet's (headpiece, initial letter, tailpiece), but they tend to be larger and more formal in style. Moreover, Vernet's focus is less exclusively on Napoleon, allowing him to pay more attention to the surrounding circumstances of the Emperor's life, and many of his initial letters and tailpieces are allegorical. Possibly Vernet's work is more generally appealing" (Ray, 280, 282). Text in French. Ray, The Art of the French Illustrated Book 203. Carteret III, 375. Contemporary ink gift inscription in French.
Closed tear to page 15, touching text but not affecting legibility. Occasional spotting or foxing to text, chiefly marginal. Binding fine and attractive.