The hybrid nature of works such as the so-called "Recueil Crozat," a bound compendium of engravings reproducing paintings and drawings, often results in their being ill-served by the specialized modern historical disciplines. With this in mind, the Recueil Crozat is here considered in light of the development of the recueil of prints as a distinct book type, as well as in the context of eighteenth-century art pedagogy and print culture. The essay argues that the book should be considered as a pedagogical system, with volume I (Roman paintings) and volume II (Venetian paintings) presenting the reader with the academic dyad of line (I) and color (II). I contend, moreover, that the book was not instructive merely on the level of content, but of technique as well: using line-valorizing gravure rangée (ordered) to reproduce the Roman paintings, and the greater coloristic effects of gravure libre (free) to reproduce the Venetian paintings, the book's authors sought to provide engravers with a model of reasoned engraving. In considering overlapping aspects of contemporary art history and pedagogy, book design, and printmaking, the essay aims to present an integrated critical approach in order to recover the fullness of early modern print culture.


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pp. 623-649
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