MATERIAL: Engraved
TYPE: Book
COMPONENTS: 29 (of 31 plates) including engraved title page, plus one missing plate in facsimile. 4to, later boards, Small quarto. Modern Mexican calf, spine gilt. Internally clean. Fine.
CONDITION: moderate wear; inked owner's stamps and removed bookplate on front endpapers
NOTES: An uncommon and lovely work.
ITEM ID: 2820

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Life of San Felipe de Jesus (Illustrated)

Year: 1801
Decade: 1800s
Century: 19th (1801-1900)

First edition of a lavishly illustrated life of San Felipe de Jesús (1572-1597), who was martyred in Japan and became the first Mexican-born saint, as well as the patron saint of Mexico City. Consists entirely of engraved scenes from Felipe’s life, one of the earliest entirely illustrated books issued in Mexico: a series of twenty-eight of thirty beautiful and, for that period, advanced engravings by Montes de Oca depicting the life of the patron saint of Mexico, San Felipe de Jesus. Born in Mexico City in 1575, he travelled to Manila, where he became a priest. In a series of delicately rendered engravings of real power, this work depicts the life of Felipe de Jesus at full length. The first twelve plates depict his early life and call to God. The next ten plates depict his shipwreck in Japan, near Nagasaki, his persecutors, and death by crucifixion at the hands of the Japanese. The last five plates record his beatification in 1627 and miracles attributed to him. Montes de Oca was a major figure among engravers and book illustrators in the fourth quarter of the 18th and the first quarter of the 19th centuries, and this “Vida de San Felipe de Jesus” is his finest, most ambitious and most extensive work. This work is entirely engraved, including the explanatory text below each well conceived and well executed illustration, making it the first book printed in Mexico not from moveable type.
Vida de San Felipe de Jesus Protomartir del Japon, y Patron de su Patria Mexico.