Jean Cousin the Younger: 8 interesting facts

By Gwylym Owen

Jean Cousin the Younger (“le jeune”, sometimes supreme as Jehan in the obsolescent style instead of Jean) (ca. 1522–1595) was born in Sens, France more or less 1522, the son of the famous painter and sculptor Jean Cousin the Elder ca. 1490–ca. 1560) who was often compared to his noted contemporary, Albrecht Dürer. Having trained to become an artist below his father, Jean the Younger showed as much gift as his father, and their feign is approximately indistinguishable even to the expert. Just in the past his death, Jean the Elder published his noted work Livre de Perspective in 1560 in which he noted that his son would soon be publishing a companion entitled, Livre de Pourtraicture.

While there have been some reports that an edition of Livre de Pourtraicture was first printed in 1571 and another time in 1589, no copies appear to exist. Instead, the maybe first printing of the act out was 1595 in Paris by David Leclerc, with woodcuts engraved by Jean Leclerc, just after Jean the Younger’s death. The autograph album is one of the most famous on the subject of artistic anatomy and was printed another time and anew into the late 17th century.

Choulant, L. History and bibliography of anatomic illustration. Trans. and annotated by Mortimer Frank. (New York: Hafner, 1962). p. 359.

Dictionnaire de biographie francaise. (Paris: Letouzey et Ane, 1933- ). Entry for: Cousin, Jehan.

Mortimer, R. Harvard College Library Department of Printing and Graphic Arts catalogue of books and manuscripts. (Cambridge, Mass., Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 1964- ). French Books, Vol. 1, p. 199.

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