Publisher Information: Nancy: J. B. H. LeClerc, 1773. First printing.
Gautier d'Agoty, Arnauld-Eloi. Plate 14 (feet) from Corps complet d'anatomie (Nancy: J. B. H. LeClerc, 1773). Mezzotint printed in colors by Gautier d'Agoty's 4-color method. Plate size approx. 535 x 390 mm. Archivally matted and framed.
Arnaud-Eloi Gautier d'Agoty was the second son of the celebrated Jacques-Fabien Gautier d'Agoty (1717-86), who for thirty years held the royal privilege for color printing in France. J. F. Gautier d'Agoty was (or claimed to be) the inventor of the four-color method (red, blue, yellow and black) of printing mezzotints in color, an improvement on the three-color method devised in the early part of the 18th century by Jacques Christophe Le Blon. (d. 1741). Gautier d'Agoty obtained the color printing privilege in 1742, and over the next three decades he and his associates, including his son Arnauld-Eloi, issued a series of illustrated works, primarily on human anatomy, that were as radically original and dramatic in their size and artistic composition as they were in their manner of production.
The series of large anatomical works issued by the Gautier d'Agotys concluded with Arnaud-Eloi's Corps complet d'anatomie (1773), "a major work of great merit and satisfaction . . . [The work's] fifteen plates follow a scheme of progress, from the classical figures at the start, to skeletal hands and feet; or we can see it as a strip performance, from fully clad nudes by stages to muscle and bone" (Franklin, A Catalogue of Early Colour Printing , pp. 49-50). 40099Book Id: 40099