The Triumphs of Alexander
In an Absolute Copy
in Imperial Ruby Leather
Le Brun, Charles (1619 Paris 1690). The Triumphs (or The Battles or The Histories) of Alexander the Great. Set of the 5 (3 folded) sheet (69.6-72 x 90.4-159.3 cm, fold stitching) printed from 15 (not 16!) plates + joined in etching with engraving by Girard Audran (4) + Gerard Edelinck. Paris 1672/78 (Audran) + c. 1671. Imperial folio (78 x 54.5 cm). Copy-specific 2 leaves black stamped text + contents, 1 white leaf.
Ruby cow-hide design binding over wooden boards
with 4 ornamental raised bands enclosed by lines, spread over lines on the covers
each with 4 large Bourbon fleurs-de-lis in the corners ,
two-piece artist & title stamp on the front and
large ligated R(oi)S(oleil) monogram
as together also brand of the Red Series here as centerpiece on the back cover, black back-plates, brown inner covers & fly-leaves, the front inner cover + fly-leaf of which with text and title resp. accompanied by Bourbon fleur-de-lis , red series and niemeyer fine arts resp. on the inner covers’ lower edge as well as JayAitchDesign on the lower edge of the back cover, all gilt tooled in 23.5 carat in English.
Documenting the stations
The Passage of the Granicus
May 334 B.C.
1672 – 4 sheet on 3 plates in the same direction – 71.5-71.7 x 138.9 cm
(margins: above & below 25-3.5 cm, sides 6 cm)
(1662/65 – 4.70 x 12.09 m – G. pp. 208-213)
The first major battle of the Alexander Campaign
Alexander paying a visit to the family of the fled Persian king Darius
Spring 333 B.C.
C. 1671 – Printed from 2 plates in reverse – 69.6 x 90.4 cm
(margins: above & below 3.7-4 cm, left 7 cm, right 3.5 cm)
(1661/62 – 2.98 x 4.53 m – G. pp. 196-201)
In the Morning after the Battle at Issus 333
The Decisive Battle of Arbela / Gaugamela
October 1 , 331 B.C.
1674 – Printed from 4 plates in the same direction – 71.3-72 x 159.2 cm
(margins: above & below 2.3-2.5 cm, left 9 cm, right 11 cm)
(C. 1666/68 – 4.70 x 12.65 m – G. pp. 214-219)
The first of the two decisive battles in the conquest of Asia ,
here concerning the Persian ,
5 years later at the Hydaspes – see below – the Indian campaign .
After the surrender of the magnificent , the mighty city without a fight
Alexander’s Triumphant Entry into Babylon
Fall 331 B.C.
1675 – Printed from 2 plates in reverse – 71.2 x 92.7 cm
(margins: above & below 2.3-3.5 cm, left 5 cm, right 3 cm)
(1662/65 – 4.50 x 7.07 m – G. pp. 202-207)
At the Hydaspes – Alexander and Porus
May 326 B.C.
1678 – Printed from 4 plates in the same direction – 71-71.3 x 159.3 cm
(margins: above & below 2.2-4 cm, sides 10-11 cm)
(C. 1666/68 – 4.70 x 12.64 m – G. pp. 220-225)
The last forward major battle .
and after Donald Posner, Charles LeBrun’s Triumphs of Alexander,
in The Art Bulletin XLI , no. 3, 237 ff.
“ the probably first representation of the Porus subject in the history of art ”.
Alexander to the defeated brave aged Porus :
How would you like to be treated ?
“ As befits a king .”
The final sheet of this graphic cycle standing alone and celebrated by literature through the times as
“ MONUMENTS OF THE HISTORY OF PRINT ”
“ One can hardly imagine more beautiful engravings … ”
(AKL 1992 and Thieme-Becker 1907 resp.)
“ Always only to ask for the useful
is not fitting at all
for generous and free humans ”
(Aristotle , teacher of Alexander)
And so 50 years after the Grande Nation by the way beyond the Rhine the young Johann Elias Ridinger, being almost the same age as Alexander in the time of his zenith, shall pick up then the thread of Le Brun’s cycle, adding the great stations of Halicarnassus (334 B.C.) + the 1st Crossing of the Tigris near Bedzabde in 331 on the march to the above encounter with Darius at Gaugamela/Arbela not treated by the former. To master after that, left unpublished in copper, in brilliant 1723 drawing writing art history the final accord: Alexander’s decision to turn back at the Indian Hyphasis in fall 326 as a Turning Point of History. And therewith the virtual end of the Alexander Campaign.
Offer no. 15,272 / price on application
„ Greetings from your Italian friend and Beethoven collector … Please inform me … “
(Sign. L. B., December 10, 2005)