GAUTIER D'AGOTY, Jacques Fabien (1716-1785). Chroa-Génésie ou génération des couleurs, contre le systeme de Newton. Paris: Antoine Boudet, 1750-51.

First edition of this anti-Newtonian polemic on color, bound in the arms of the Comte du Jouy. Gautier was a polymathic anatomist, artist, printmaker, and color-theorist. A former student of Jacob Christoph Le Blon, he eventually became entangled in a dispute with his former (and actually at the time, dead) teacher over the title of "inventor of color printing"—only one of many such colorful conflicts in his life. Le Blon had been an adherent of Newtonian theories of color, which strongly influenced his printing techniques. Gautier, against Newton, insisted on using a fourth black plate, with lighter colors layered on successively—producing his inarguably arresting colored engravings of anatomical dissections and other scentific illustrations. The present book is not only an attack on Newton, but also an attempt to bolster his own (successful) claims in the arena of color-printing as well as his reputation as a maverick of science. Fletcher, French Book Arts, 6.7 (Madame de Pompadour’s copy).

Two volumes, 12mo (161 x 92mm). 15 folding plates with scientific diagrams; woodcut head and tailpieces (some toning and dust-soiling, including to plates). Contemporary French red morocco gilt, with gilt arms of Comte du Jouy, edges gilt (joints neatly repaired). Provenance: Antoine-Louis Rouille, Comte du Jouy (1689-1761, binding) – Moseley family (armorial bookplate).
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