Large folio [560 x 420 mm] with 34 large plates. Small tears at the folds of views 8, 9 and 13, repairs without loss on views 1, 6, 11, 19 and 28. Red morocco, double frame of triple gilt fillet with crowned royal cypher in the corners, arms gilt-stamped in the center, spine ribbed and decorated with the crowned royal cypher, repeated 7 times, placed between fleurs-de-lys and borders with fleurs-de-lys, inner gilt border, gilt edges. Contemporary binding.
First issue of this collection from the Cabinet du Roi published by order of Louis XIV in various formats and separate plates.
Superb collection of 34 splendid engravings evocative of the reign of Louis XIV.
Most of them are on double-page or several times folded, and evoke the life at the court in Vincennes, Versailles and Fontainebleau, then the countryside of Flanders.
All present a real artistic quality and are animated on an architectural background with groups of characters and riders depicted with a good sense of movement.
The 34 engravings drawn by Van der Meulen, the painter of Louis XIV’s conquests, are engraved by R. Bonnart, Baudoin, Van Huchtenburg and Simoneau.
Superb collection of views of monumental size, sumptuous panoramas by the painter from Brussels Adam Van der Meulen (1632-1690), called by Le Brun in Paris, appointed First Painter of the King and Director of the Manufacture des Gobelins.
He produced more than 150 plates for the Cabinet du Roi. Van der Meulen accompanied the King on all his travels and endeavored to portray him in his victories and his conquests, while representing the conquered cities with the realism of a geographer.
“A student of Peter Snayers, Van de Meulen learnt from him how to draw horses and the light and transparent technique of the Rubens school.
He was commissioned to make the designs for the tapestries representing the deeds of Louis XIV and accompanied the King on all his travels and wars.
His paintings faithfully reproduce the compositions of the troops and even the costumes of some characters and are therefore precious documents.
When he accompanied the King in the campaigns of Flanders in 1667, of Franche-Comté in 1668 and of Holland in 1672, he took daily orders from the king on the episodes that the latter wished to see represented. He drew the encampments, the disposition of the armies and the sieges on the spot. He painted to perfection the armies in campaign”. Benezit, VII, 366-367.
The collection is distributed as such:
– 11 Plates on double-page: Vue du château de Vincennes, Vue du château de Versailles, La Reine allant à Fontainebleau, Vue de la ville et de la Citadelle de Cambray, Saint-Omer vu du costé du fort de Bournonuille, L’armée du Prince d’Orange, Vue de St Laurent de la Roche (x 2), Vue du chasteau Ste Anne (x 2), Vue du chasteau de Joux.
– 10 Plates on triple-page: Marche du Roi sur le Pont-neuf à Paris, Le Roi et sa calèche dans le bois de Vincennes, Vue du château de Versailles, Vue de la ville d’Ardrès, Entrée de la Reine dans Arras, Arrivée du Roy devant Douai, Arrivée du Roy au camp devant Mastrick, Valenciennes prise d’assaut, Le Roy s’étant rendu maitre de la ville de Cambray, Vue de Leuve.
– 13 plates on quadruple page: Vue du château de Fontainebleau, Vue de la ville de Béthune en Artois, Vue de la ville et du Port de Calais, Entrée du Roi dans Dunkerque, Vue de Tournay, Vue de la ville de L’Isle, Vue de Courtray, Vue de la ville et du siège d’Oudenarde, Vue de la Ville de Besançon, Dole prise dans la première conqueste que le Roy a faite, Vue de la Ville et faubourg de Salins, Vue de la Ville de Gray, Vue de l’Armée du Roy.
Superb collection in first issue.
One of the presentation copies offered by King Louis XIV, preserved in its splendid binding in red morocco with the arms and crowned cypher of King Louis XIV.
The copies from the Cabinet du Roi can be composed of different views and contain a different number of engravings. This one is complete, as it was published, with its 34 engravings.
Provenance: Château de Vaux le Vicomte.