This illustrated history of biblical events was written by French humanist Isaac-Louis Lemaistre de Sasy (1613-1684) during his imprisonment in the Bastille. A theologian and priest of Port Royal, de Sasy was confined for two years for his Jansenist views. This work was co-authored by his fellow prisoner Nicolas Fontaine (1625- 1709). Originally published anonymously in 1670, this edition features engravings by Claude Duflos (1678-1747). The dedication page, which bears the Coat of Arms of the Dauphin of France, is addressed to "Monseigneur le Dauphin," eldest son and heir of King Louis XIV.
The composition of this eighteenth century illustration is very similar to that of the sixteenth century woodcut by Albrecht Dürer. The figures of the disciples gather below, as the feet of Christ can be seen ascending into a bright light. At the front right we can see the figure of the hooded Virgin Mary kneeling in prayer. The footprints of Jesus are impressed into the ground. The faces of the disciples are serene. The two disciples at the front right gesture excitedly. The general emotion is of wonder, without a hint of sadness.
Artwork in the public domain.