The Triumphs of Alexander the Great
along with Additions
on the Versailles Architecture
in Louis XIVth
Cabinet du Roi Coat-of-Arms Binding
— The Copy of Counts von Quadt zu Wickerath/Isny —
A) Le Brun, Charles (1619 Paris 1690). (Tableaux du Roy, représentant cinq sujets de l’histoire d’Alexandre le Grand.) The Triumphs or The Battles or The Histories of Alexander the Great. Set of the 5 (3 folded) sheet printed from 15 (not 16!) plates, joined and stitched on guards in etching with engraving by Girard Audran (Lyon 1640 – Paris 1703; 4) & Gerard Edelinck (Antwerp 1640 – Paris 1707). Paris, Goyton, 1672/78 (Audran) & c. 1671. 27⅜-28⅜ × 35½-62⅝ in (69.5-72 × 90.2-159.2 cm).
B) Bound with:
1) – – The same. Le grand Escalier de Versailles. 7-sheet set headed by engraved title/text sheet with ornamental borders (10 × 26¾ in [25.5 × 68 cm]; margins on 3 sides 4-8, below 18.7 cm wide) of the
painting of the Grand or Ambassadors’ Staircase at Versailles
in etching with engraving by Étienne (Stephane) Baudet (Vineuil-les-Blois/Loire-et-Cher 1638 – Paris 1711; “working almost exclusively for the king, between … 1679-83 he engraved seven assembled plates after Le Brun representing the Escalier des Ambassadeurs à Versailles”, Maxime Préaud, AKL VII , 518). Inscribed as above and per captions, C. Berey Scrip. and, sheet 7, C. le Brun Inuent / Step. Baudet. sc. Sheets 2-7 = 13⅞-17⅛ × 25¼-31⅞ in (35.3-43.5 × 64-81 cm).
4 sheet folded once each. – Sheets 2-7 with margins of varying width as corresponding to sheet sizes (20½-25⅝ × 29⅞-32⅝ in [52-65 × 75.8-83 cm]) with twice one-sided trimming to the platemark and once two-sided fine margin resp., each, however, with at least 1.7-2.3 cm wide white plate field, otherwise between 0.5-2 (3 times) and 4-10.5 cm resp. – Sheets 6 & 7 with ⅝-1¾ × 2⅜-4⅛ in (1.5-4.5 × 6-10.5 cm) wide cut-out in the left white top edge above the folding.
“ The engravings after Le Brun’s paintings in the staircase of Versailles earned him 13500 l(ivres). 1693 he was appointed Graveur du Roi … B. belongs to the classic representatives of French copper-plate engraving. To become thoroughly acquainted with him, one has to compare his works with those of Gérard Audran ( for what quite en passant the excellent occasion presents itself here ! ); one then recognizes his merits and his weaknesses, too, the beauty yet also the coldness of his graver, which always moves in even tones and never reaches Audran’s vigorous light effect ” (Thieme-Becker III , pages 55 f.).
Nagler I (1835), page 323, had been acquainted with the set through Joubert only (“The paintings of the Grand Staircase … in 7 sheets”). – Perfect condition.
2) – – The same. La Franche Comté conquise pour la seconde fois 1674. Un des tableaux de la Voute de la grande gallerie de Versailles.
of the re-occupation of the Franche Comté de Bourgogne
by Louis XIV dominating the picture
during the Dutch War after that of 1668 in the War of Devolution in etching with engraving by Charles Simonneau, called Simonneau aîné (Orléans 1645 – Paris 1728; Graveur dessinateur ordinaire du cabinet du roi). Inscribed: Peint par Monsieur le Brun premier Peintre du Roy et gravé par Charles Simonneau 1688, otherwise as above, followed by format specification, with exception of the title in French-Latin parallel text. 20⅝ × 26½ in (52.3 × 67.3 cm).
Margins on three sides 4-4.8, above 3 cm wide. – Folded once. – 3 cm tear in the 4.8 cm wide white lower margin backed acid-freely.
Nagler 63: “La Franche Comté … rich composition … and one of the master’s principal sheets …”
“ He frequently combined the (etching) needle with the chisel, particularly in the middle and backgrounds, as well as in the chiaroscuro; with just the chisel he then worked only the richest parts ”
(Nagler XVI , pages 442-445). – Perfect condition.
3) Mignard I, Pierre (Troyes 1612 – Paris 1695). Tableaux de la voute de la Galerie du petit Apartement du Roy a Versailles. Set of the 3 sheet of the
vault painting of the King’s Small Apartment at Versailles
in etching with engraving by Audran as above. Folded once each. Inscribed: Designé et graué par G. Audran d’après les peintures par Mr. Mignard … Peintre du Roy afait du Château de Versaille, otherwise as above, followed by descriptions of the sheets, see below. 29⅛-29⅜ × 20½-21⅝ in (74-74.5 × 52-55 cm). – Margins 0.5-6 cm wide.
1. Apollon distribuë des recompenses aux Sçiences et aux Arts, et Minerue couronne Le Genie de la France. – 2. La Preuoïançe et le Secret auec leurs Symboles. – 3. La Vigilance auec ses Symboles, et Mercure comme le pöus vigilant des Dieux.
The in its plenitude and splendor absolutely exceedingly instructive
canticle of canticles on the arts & sciences and their divine patrons .
Returned to Paris in 1658 after a stay of 20 years in Rome/Italy, he succeeded Le Brun in all his prominent positions in 1690, after he had been ennobled already in 1687, yet having not nearly filled the artistic capacity of his predecessor considered a rival.
“ At the ceiling of the small gallery he painted Apollo as he rewards the arts and sciences, and other pictures … three ceiling frescos (engraved by Audran) in the gallery of the small apartments at Versailles ” (Nagler IX , pages 278 and 281 resp.).
“ (Audran) was a master of the pictorial effect ;
his broad style suited the large compositions excellently. His chisel yielded further such works (above Alexander series) which, however, are less famous, but likewise excellent: … le Plafond de la Galerie du petit appartement du Roi, in Versailles, after Mignard (1688) … The contract was preserved which was made with him for the engraving of the ‘Galerie du petit appartement du Roi’ of 1686; he received 5000 livres (500 livres the square foot). – A. promised in this contract … ” (Thieme-Becker II , page 240). – Perfect condition.
Imperial folio (30⅛ × 21¼ in [76.5 × 54 cm]). Original marbled calf on 8 raised bands with arms supralibros (5⅛ × 4⅛ in [13 × 10.5 cm]) of Louis XIV on both boards, royal monogram below crown repeated 7 times on the spine along with title stamping and further decoration, delicate filigree border along with double fillet on the boards, ornamentation of all 3 leading edges, all gilt-tooled, as well as richly marbled paste-down & fly-leaves varying of each other, the latter of downright vivacious colorfulness. Gilt edges.
The “BATAILL(ES) DE ALEXAN(DRE)”
as “TOM(US) II” of the 23-part
Cabinet du Roi
primarily awarded as royal dedication copies
in its first edition
with engraved specification of the number of copies published
as absolutely elitist in the graphic arts
(a second edition was published 1727)
“ Cabinet in the 18th (and indeed already before) century meant the small collection of precious objects, chosen rarities, show pieces, while in the grand ‘Bibliothèque’ the other stocks of the collection were put up ”
(Hans Bohatta in Löffler-Kirchner, Lexikon des gesamten Buchwesens, I , 314).
Representing here then a grandiose treasure of graphical renderings by the best of the best, united in 23 parts at the request of Louis XIV of France (1638-1715), “under whom the arts and sciences attained their greatest heyday” (Bohatta, op. cit., II , 374).
“ The above 23 vols compose the grand collection of engravings done at the expence of Louis XIV. by the first artists in Europe, and generally distinguished by the name of Cabinet du Roy. This set is
entirely of the best edition and first impressions ,
and was a presentation copy of the Grand Monarque ”
(James Edwards, A catalogue of books … in every branche … collected of various of Europe, 1796, II, 101 within the section Books of Prints, Drawings, Antiquities, Architecture etc.).
Correspondingly then present 5-sheet set of Alexander after Le Brun as volume II of the series in their
with (!!) the name of the royal printer Goyton1
on all five sheets, as the exception, see below, and Audran’s except for the final sheet of 1678
still with “Pintre” instead of “Peintre”.
And all this in adequately
uniform marvelous , still blackening print quality
of vibrant chiaroscuro .
1 According to – self-contradictory – Ebert (1821), see below, the very first impressions bear Goyton’s name yet no more than again the later ones, what of all things is not supported, however, by Wille as with 1763 much closer to the time and on the spot as German Pope of Art, when he writes in respect of the Alexander series
“ the impressions are of the best, that is by the famous copperplate printer Goyton whose name is pecked on it so: Goyton and so one has to have them if they shall be fine ”
(Décultot/Espagne/Werner [ed.], Joh. Gg. Wille [1715-1808]. Correspondence, , 302 f.).
And exactly so they are present here then , too .
According to British Museum Jean Goyton (1629 – Paris 1714) was publisher and printer in Paris since the 1670s,
“ Perhaps the first such to be permitted
to add his name to the plates that he printed.
Employed to print the plates of the ‘Cabinet du Roi’ , which were not stored in the Imprimerie Royale but in the royal library; Goyton had to move in with his press and print them in the room next to the stores of morocco used for binding the volumes (see André Jammes, The Library, XX 1965, p.10).
Some ( !! ) of them carry his name in dotted letters . ”
Above 11 sheets bound with, usually belonging to vol. 23, therefore without Goyton’s signature partly dotted in reverse. By which the matter by no means rests as regards Goyton’s Alexander prints. For the strange row of variedly several dots following his name immediately or yet closely was deciphered by Ebert – but only on occasion of these 5 sheets !! –
as specification of the number of prints , 100 per dot
as utterly unusual in the graphic arts, for which again and again the as old as but vaguely answerable question about the number of prints is discussed. Here then their number would be between 700 and 900. 700 each for Granicus & Arbela, 800 each for Babylon & Poros, 900 for the Tent of Darius.
Nevertheless in 1763 already Wille was “finally so lucky … to have got hold … of the great Battles of Alexander” (op. cit., page 302). And already years before Christian Ludwig Hagedorn, soon afterwards Dresden Pope of Art, had mentioned these
“ masterpieces of the chisel ”
in his “Meditations on Painting” by the words “in any impressions exceedingly rare” (page 597). As predominantly royal presentation copies they had come into hands of long wind.
“ Old impressions of these 5 sheets are worth in Paris 400 to 600 fr. The copperplate printer Goyton, who did the first impressions of these sheets, has engraved his name in reverse (such not the rule !) onto each plate and added dots, the number of which shall mark just as much hundred impressions. Yet it is certain that the very first impressions (thus supposedly the proofs only !) do not bear this distinction, even though this name and these dots still indicate an old impression (recte first impression !) since they died out in the newer impressions … The stated (23) parts (by the way) are bound in now more now less volumes and at times ordered differently ” (as indeed present add-on sets)
(Ebert, Allgemeines Bibliographisches Lexikon , 3232; parentheses, bold and spaced type not in the original). – And
“ All copies of such works of splendor were bound identically … Thus again one has a kind of publisher’s binding here, the first occurrence of which in the 15th century we have stated before …
Oddly enough but for few exceptions the bindings for the splendor-loving Louis XIV are decorated very plainly. Their gilding consists – as in regard of the boards here, too – of a double frame of straight lines with fleur-de-lis stamps in the corners (missing here, but additional filigree border) and
the royal arms at the center .
One finds on the book bindings of the stylistic era Louis quatorze virtually nothing of the ornament characteristic of this style … The bindings for the gentlemen and ladies at the court of Louis XIV … mostly are as plain as those for the king. One calls the bindings dispensing with any ornamentation (here nevertheless with exception of the spine) ‘Reliures Jansénistes’ from the severe lifestyle of the sect of the Jansenists founded 1640.
Quite particular value was set at this period on the greatest perfection of the technical work of the bookbinder, and was especially meticulous about the selection and preparation … for the covers of the boards ”
(Loubier, Der Bucheinband in alter und neuer Zeit, 2nd ed., c. 1905, pages 162 & 157).
The middle chain of the royal supralibros with attached Golden Fleece here joined directly to the crown as curtailed ribbon of the Order of the Holy Spirit created 1578 by Henri III, constituted of the crown monogram of the since Henri IV Latin “H” (originally Greek) alternating with fleurs-de-lis & war trophy medallions surrounded by tongues of flame (Holy Spirit). Attached the Cross of the Order. – Apart from slight rubs and injuries at particularly spine-ends and corners the preservation of the binding is adequately to the copy’s origin almost perfect.
On the back of the Granicus sheet
the oval arms stamp of the Counts Quadt zu Isny , formerly Wickrath .
“ Old, according to various statements originally Westphalian noble house, formerly also written Quad, Quaden, which acquired large landed property at Jülich, Geldern and Cleves, and is resident in the Kingdom of Württemberg since 1803, too. Individual branches of the house spread already in earlier times in the archbishoprics Cologne and Treves, and hence Fahne, who writes the family Quad, regards the house as originally of Cologne, which bears a character name and states that still in 1337 Gerard der Quade, that is the Obstinate, exists. – The regular sequence of the house starts with Peter v. Quadt, who was killed 1346 in the Battle at Staveren. Of his sons William Q. established the line zu Buschfeld, and Luther Q. the line zu Thomberg and Vorst; besides which in the early 15th century also the lines Isengarten, Landskron, Hardenberg, Rode, Hundscheid, and Quadt-Wickerath zu Stadeck and Alsbach, zu Zoppenbroich and later zu Hüchtenbruc(k) evolved, of which again only the line zu Hüchtenbruc(h) in Prussia and the line zu Wickerath (today Wickrath), now Quadt-Isny, were accepted as main houses … The (Quadt) dominions Wickerath and Schwanenburg (now Schwanenberg) came to France by the Treaty of Lunéville, whereupon the family was indemnified by the Principal Decree of the Imperial Deputation of 1803 with the imperial city Isny … and referred (from the Westphalian) to the Swabian Association of Imperial Counts … Beside the dominion Isny mediate manors and fiefdoms in the Dutch province Geldern and fiefs and properties in the Kingdom of Bavaria are due to the family ”
(E. H. Kneschke [ed.], Neues allgemeines Deutsches Adels-Lexicon, VII , pp. 293-295; bold/spaced type not in the original).
A) The Alexander series bound as following :
Alexander’s Entry into Babylon
Fall 331 B.C.
1675 – Printed from 2 plates in reverse – 28¼ × 36½ in (71.6 × 92.6 cm)
Edition identifier: 800 impressions. – Margins 1-1.5 cm wide.
(1662/65 – 177⅛ × 278⅜ in [4.50 × 7.07 m] – G. pp. 202-207)
Gir. Audran sculps. / 1675.
(at the left lower edge of the subject) & in the text field
........ AINSY PAR LA VERTV SELEVENT LES HEROS.
Entréé Triomphante d’Alexandre dans Babilone au milieu des concerts de /
musique et des acclamations du Peuple. GoyTon (dotted)
Graué par Ger. Audran sur le tableau de Mr. le Brun premier Pintre (sic, not yet corrected instead of Peintre) du Roy /
Ce tableau est dans le Cabinet de sa Mté. il la 16 piedz de hault sur 21. pi 5 pou. de long.
SIC VIRTVS EVEHIT ARDENS.
Alexander Babilonem sibi deditam triumphali curru sublimis inter GoyTon (dotted) /
Ciuium acclamationes, et Concentus ingreditur
........ (at the lower right corner of the subject)
Æri incisus per Ger. Audran ex tabula Car. le Brun Reg. Pictor. Primarij
asseruatâ in Pinacothecâ Regiâ 16 pedes alta et 21 p. et 5 poll lata.
After the surrender of the magnificent , the mighty city without a fight .
Alexander’s Triumphant Entry into Babylon ,
the “Gateway of the Gods … on both sides of the Euphrates … four times (larger) than London (1888) and was enclosed by a wall 200 yards high and 50 yards thick with 250 towers and 100 brazen gates” (Meyer’s, see below, II, 204).
Standing in silver plated two-wheeled triumph carriage. Lateral view with one of the two richly adorned elephants belonging to from the Darius booty of Arbella (see below). In front treasure porters and events of any kind. Set back Babylon’s famous Hanging Gardens.
“ Representing the crowning moment of the Persian campaign ,
when the world conqueror received the homage of the ancient city ,
the painting manifests
the inevitable elevation of virtuous royalty, the triumphal apotheosis ”
(Posner, see below, 241 f.).
Nagler (II) providently points out that Le Brun might have used for this as for Edelinck’s sheet, see below, a third-hand design, namely
“ There exists an agate which comprises the two most beautiful representations, that is The Tent of Darius and Alexander’s Entry into Babylon. These representations (Le Brun) has kept almost without any modifications. The agate became known first in 1749 by an effective engraving by S. Kleiner. The engraving bears the inscription: Achates orientales ruber, insculptas referens icones praecip. Alexandri M. ducum et rerum gestarum. This stone Mariette (family of art dealers, publishers, and engravers in Paris, 17th/18th century) and others pronounced antique. Some doubt the antiquity of the same, however. The present owner is not known to us. ”
“ Audran virtually painted with the needle and the chisel ,
and in his hand these instruments gained such an easiness
as can be achieved with the brush only .
His engravings have a charm , and a deliberation one cannot find in other works … models of the best style , rich examples for any historical engraver .”
So Nagler 1835 in anticipation of Thieme-Becker 1908: “Gérard is the most famous member of this family of copper engravers ,
probably one of the greatest of all engravers
who have reproduced paintings. – Before his departure for Rome
– comparable to Cornelis Cort 100 years before: “All early works mentioned … hardly foreshadow the brilliant artist who created shortly afterwards in Italy his works exemplary for a whole generation of engravers … The sudden turn into the grandiose … ”, Th.-B. VII (1912), 475 ff. –
in 1666 few works of Gérard’s are worth mentioning … the(se) work(s are) broad, yet far off of the
painterly and grandiose effect of the ‘Batailles d’Alexandre’ …
One can hardly imagine more beautiful engravings …
Not only is the painter’s drawing rendered exactly, but also the effects are produced wonderfully exact. The works are executed distinctly as required by the sujet to be rendered. The aqua fortis (etching) and the chisel (engraving) are applied concurrently.”
And 1992 in AKL
“ Without dispute they are A.s main works. The exactness of the drawing , the richness of the tones , achieved by a new , subtle mixed technique of etching with engraving as well as the extraordinary size of the works , make them
Monuments of the History of Print .
They earned him legitimate fame and more than 12,000 livres. ”
Especially in the 7 cm lower text/paper field impairingly browned/tidemarked. The three other white margins less intensely browned. The right half of the sheet uniform fainter browning, the left relatively fresh. Guard joint slightly creased. Weighing the early Goyton state and general scarcity all in all yet quite acceptable.
The Passage of the Granicus
May 334 B.C.
1672 – 4 sheet on 3 plates in the same direction – 28⅛ × 54⅜ in (71.5 × 138 cm)
(a further copy here measuring 139.9 cm, nevertheless virtually no coverings)
Edition identifier: 700 impressions. – Margins above 1.2-2 cm, below 2.3-3.5 cm, at the sides 5.5 cm wide.
(1662/65 – 185 × 476 in [4.70 × 12.09 m] – G. pp. 208-213)
Gir. Audran sculps. 1672.
(at the left lower edge of the subject) & in the text field
....... Graué par Gir. Audran sur le tableau de Mr. le Brun premier Pintre (sic, not yet corrected instead of Peintre) du Roy GoyTon (dotted) /
Ce tableau est dans le Cabinet de sa Mate. il a 16 pieds de hault sur 30 pieds de long.
LA VERTV SVRMONTE TOVT OBSTACLE.
Alexandre ayant passé le Granique, attaque les Perses a forces inegales, /
et met en fuitte leur innombrable multitude
VIRTVS OMNI OBICE MAIOR
Alexander superato Granico, Persas imparibus copijs aggreditur, /
eorumque innumerabilem exercitum fundit
Æri incisus per Ger. Audran ex tabula Car. le Brun Reg. Pictor. Primarij ....... /
asseruatâ in Pinacothecâ Regiâ 16 pedes alta et 30 pedes lata. Goyton (dotted)
The first major battle of the Alexander Campaign .
“ Granicus, ancient name of a river in the landscape Troas (Troad) in north-western Asia Minor …
At the same … Alexander the Great won his first victory over the Persians
… not far from Priapos (now Karaboa) … Still in the river itself the murderous cavalry fight started ”
(Meyer’s, see below, VII, 616 & I, 317).
In which Alexander followed Thucydides’ war counsel:
“ He who attacks first will terrify the enemy .”
“ Memnon, the Rhodian general in the service of Darius, new (and last) king of Persia, (who should offer fierce resistance once more in Halicarnassus later in the year) was in command of the army that awaited Alexander … In the Passage of the Granicus, Le Brun thus wished to emphasize his style by adding the famous helmets adorned with feathers or with animals. In the centre is Alexander on his horse Bucephalus. He is recognizable by his white-plumed helmet. He raises his sword against Memnon, but at the same time a Persian has appeared behind him, brandishing a sword in both hands, intent on splitting open his head. A cavalryman in crimson has arrived just in time; he pushes away the warrior with his left hand and is about to kill him with a blow of his axe … It was Cleitus, the son of his childhood nurse … Further to the right, a helmeted Greek warrior carries one of the silver shields of Alexander’s special bodyguards, the ARGYRASPIDES, who were known by the name given to the shield … Beside Cleitus there is another helmeted Greek
blowing (already) a long trumpet , seemingly to announce victory .”
So that the canvas may tell the whole story.
“ It is also worth bearing in mind that Le Brun’s specific goal was
to portray Louis XIV in the role of victor through the depiction of a triumphant Alexander. ”
Still very much blackening. – Horizontal tear at the right center guard up to the platemark providently backed of old still few cm beyond. Likewise two tears in the lower margin. Various small tears in the margins taken care of recently acid-freely. The white margins generally slightly time-marked. Those of the right plate incl. text field relatively faintly foxed/browned as showing from verso. This general faint, only below stronger foxing/browning on the back not perceptible in the subject itself. Similarly the left plate part, yet generally more spread on the back and also stronger with the appearance of a somewhat time-marked cloud field in the subject.
The splendid chiaroscuro in its right two-thirds owing to the large darker to black parts there shining downright grandiosely .
The Family of Darius before Alexander
November 333 B.C.
C. 1671 – Printed from 2 plates in reverse – 27⅜ × 35½ in (69.5 × 90.2 cm)
Edition identifier: 900 impressions. – Margins above & below 1.5-2.8 cm, laterally 2-2.3 cm wide.
(1661/62 – 117⅜ × 178⅜ in [2.98 × 4.53 m] – G. pp. 196-201)
C. le Brun Pinxit / G. Edelinck sculpsit
Il est d’vn Roy de ce vaincre soy mesme
Alexandre, ayant vaincu Darius prez la ville d’Isse entre dans vne tente ou estoient la Mere la femme et / les filles de Darius, ou il donne vn exemple singulier de retenüe et de clemence GoyTon (dotted)
Graué par le Sr. Edelinck d’apres le tableau qu’en afaict Mr. le Brun premier peintre du Roy.
et que sa Maté. prenoit plaisir de luy voir peindre a fontainebleau en lannée 1661
Sui victoria indicat Regem
Alexander, Dario ad Issum victo tabernaculum Reginarum ingreditur, vbi singulare / clementiæ ac continentiæ præbet exemplum / GoyTon (dotted) ......... /
Æri incidit Gerardus Edelinck adtabulam Caroli le Brun Regij Pictoris primarij,
quem, illam pingentem Rex videre delectabatur apud fontem bellaquæum anno. 1661.
In the Morning after the Battle at Issus 333
Alexander pays a visit to the family of the fled Persian king Darius
“ Famous Main Sheet ”
“ … herein Edelink has exhausted his whole art ”
“ This painting , first in the series on Alexander ,
was the most famous during (Le Brun’s) lifetime …
it was on the strength of this painting
that Le Brun was nominated First Painter to Louis XIV. ”
Rendered the joint visit of Alexander and his confident Hephaestion, whom the ladies confound with the king, in the morning after the legendary-famous battle three/three/three …. It is the modern Erzyn. At this time still youthful-brisk the king took the mistake sovereignly by the way with the words “for this man too is Alexander” (Quintus Curtius).
By the victor’s Alexander behavior towards the ladies as reported by the latter following old accounts, by his respect paid to them, his chivalrously self-controlled and by this royal attitude towards the virtuous beauty of the two daughters Le Brun quite complied with the expectations of his gallant court.
“ In the Grand Siècle the story was to be seen in a new light, and the pictorial accents which LeBrun gave to his picture were unique in the history of the subject … The dramatic emphasis of the picture is thus entirely on Alexander’s attitude toward the beauteous and despairing women, on his gesture of gallant gentleness … By illustrating this ‘honorable and princely’ action, as Plutarch calls it, LeBrun made his picture a lesson in formalized gallantry, in the ethic of royalty.
Alexander’s exemplary behavior on this occasion seems to have so impressed the seventeenth century Frenchman that Félibien, who discussed the painting at length in an essay published in 1663, could call the Macedonian’s action ‘une des plus Glorieuse qu’Alexandre ait jamais Faites’. It was glorious because it was possible only by ‘se Surmontant Soy-Même … , le Vainqueur de toutes les Nations’ ”
(Posner, see below, 240 f., noting with reference to Félibien that characteristically this essay Les reines de Perse aux pieds d’Alexandre was published three more times before the end of the century, then, in English-French version, in London 1703). – This then also the tenor of the sheet’s caption.
And this had happened before this visit :
“ Meanwhile the Persian king had raised 5-600,000 men, among which 100,000 well-armed Asian infantrymen and 30,000 Greek mercenaries. A. marched along the beach via Mallos and Issus to the town Myriandros; Darius however, instead of expecting A. in the wide plain of Sochoi advantageous for the cavalry, approached him through the Armenian mountain passes through which one expected Alexander’s advance and so arrived, without meeting the Macedonians, in their back in the narrow plain of Issus. A. immediately turned back and encountered some miles south-east of Issus, in the narrow, rough valley of the river Pinarus, the half a million Asians pressed together in a small spot. Recognizing the advantage of the moment A. attacked immediately: he himself turned onto the center of the Persian battle array where the grand king (meeting Alexander for the first time here) stood, and after a heated mêlée … this took to flight, to which gradually the rest of the army was carried away (November 333) … The complete Persian camp with enormous treasures fell into the hands of Alexander; even Darius’ mother Sisygambis, his wife Stateira, and his children were captured ”
(Meyer’s, see bleow, I, 317).
Doubtless the most famous teaching example
of wrong & right strategy .
This and a lot of fundamental things more the occupation with history, art + culture of the old may convey. In the long run tap-rooters are superior to flat-heads. And they are intellectually more agile, and thereby more healthy-long-lived, anyway. With reference to Le Brun then also Wille wrote to a collector already in 1756 “The kindnesses by this king
brought his mind into action , into happiness ;
He raised himself, so to speak, above himself” (see below, p. 152).
Characteristic then also that at all times Alexander the Great enjoyed the special devotion of successful business leaders and particularly Anglo-Saxon authors have got to the heart of Le Brun’s message actually coming as Les Batailles d’Alexandre long since and speak of
“ The Triumphs of Alexander ”.
For, so Donald Posner,
“ In the literature the paintings are variously called the History, Triumphs, or more frequently Battles of Alexander. However, it will become evident in the course of this article that Triumphs most properly expresses their content. ”
And, so Jeremy Block 2004/05, already Napoleon had wished to repeat explicitly these by marching against India.
At first Le Brun had conceived only three pictures: the crossing of the Granicus as dominant centerpiece, flanked by the smaller ones of the tent visit and the entry into Babylon. That the theme then actually
“ occupied LeBrun for eight years or more had not been anticipated by either LeBrun or Louis XIV … But the interests of historical completeness and accuracy, so important to LeBrun’s generation, probably led to the decision to expand the narrative of the Persian campaign by the addition of two pictures. As finally executed however, only one of the two, the Battle of Arbella, illustrated the Persian narrative. The other, the Defeat of Porus, represents the climax of the later campaign in India … The(se) two final paintings, almost identical in size, but larger than the others, appear as a separate, or second section of the series, reflecting their origin as later additions to it. ”
So Posner, pp. 239 and 243 f. resp., at the same time noting that instead of the Porus theme actually and also as more meaningful the Death of Darius was intended, for which there also is a drawing in the Louvre which most interestingly not just is of the Porus size, but foremost also shows figurative conformities up to the mounted Alexander seen from behind. The charm of the new object ultimately was to have not been recognized by the arts so far.
Just as fifty years later the 25-year-old Ridinger helped the Decision to turn back at the Hyphasis in fall the same year to its artistic debut by a large-sized yet unpublished drawing, after he had already appended to Le Brun’s Alexander campaign the so important stations of the Siege and Capture of Halicarnassus (334) and the First Passage of the Tigris (331).
Irrespective of the strong browning of the back, intensely noticeable also on the front within the text field and white margin, essentially of very fine general impression, not least with regard to the chiaroscuro. In short, the visual effect of the image itself to a limited extent brownishly tinted, but this absolutely evenly. By this, however, evidently more beautiful than the Babylon sheet.
The Decisive Battle of Arbella
October 1 , 331 B.C.
1674 – Printed from 4 plates in the same direction – 28-28¼ × 62⅝ in (71.2-71.7 × 159.2 cm)
Edition identifier: 700 impressions. – Margins above 0.8-1.7 cm, below 2.5-3 cm, left 6.2-7.5 cm, right 9-9.5 cm wide.
(C. 1666/68 – 185 × 498 in [4.70 × 12.65 m] – G. pp. 214-219)
Gir. Audran sculps. 1674.
(at the left lower edge of the subject) & in the text field
....... Graué par Gir. Audran sur le tableau de Mr. le Brun
premier Pintre (sic, not yet corrected instead of Peintre) du Roy. /
....... ce tableau est dans le Cabinet de sa Mate. il a 16 piedz de hault sur 39. pi. 5. pou. de long.
LA VERTV EST DIGNE DE LEMPIRE DV MONDE
Goyton (dotted) /
Alexandre apres plusieurs Victoires deffit Darius dans la bataille qu’il donna pres d’Arbelle
et ce dernier combat / ayant acheué de renuerser le throsne des Perses tout l’Orient fut soumis a la puissance des Macedoniens
DIGNA ORBIS IMPERIO VIRTVS.
Post multas Victorias virtute sua partas vltimo ad Arbelam prælio Darium fugat Alexander eaque / clade funditus euerso Persarum solio totus Oriens in potestatem Macedonici cessit imperij
Æri incisus per Ger. Audran ex tabula Car. le Brun Reg. Pictor. Primarij /
asseruatâ in Pinacothecâ Regiâ 16 pedes alta et 39 p. et 5. poll. lata. GoyTon (dotted) .......
Repeated below in the plastemark far right in printed letters: GOYTON
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 .
“ Only at Gaugamela, not far from Arbela, (Alexander) met the enemy in autumn 331. Oct. 1 it came to the decisive battle there. Already Parmenion’s flank was pierced, the Persians stood in the Macedonian camp, there A. gained, piercing with the phalanx the enemy’s center, the victory. In Arbela, up to where A. restlessly pursued the enemy with the cavalry, the royal treasure, all field equipment, and for the second time (after Issus, see above per Edelinck) the king’s arms fell into the victor’s hands. Darius himself escaped with 8,000 men to Ecbatana, while Ariobarzanes with 25,000 turned to Persis; the other Satraps dispersed or went over to A. The Persian empire was delivered the death-blow. Babylon surrendered … (see above) ”
(Meyer’s Convers. Lex., see below, I, 318).
being the latter’s son Alexander posed as after all, as like other ones positively “felt as such by the folklore in a quite distinct sense” (Spengler).
Splendid impression , marvellous in its completely even chiaroscuro .
At the Hydaspes — Alexander and Porus
May 326 B.C.
1678 – Printed from 4 plates in the same direction – 27⅝-27⅞ × 62⅜ in (70.3-70.7 × 158.5 cm)
Edition identifier: 800 impressions. – Margins above & below 1.9-3.1 cm, laterally 8.8-9.1 cm wide.
(C. 1666/68 – 185 × 497⅝ in [4.70 × 12.64 m] – G. pp. 220-225)
Ger. Audran sculp. 1678.
(at the right lower edge of the subject) & in the text field
Goyton (dotted, in reverse) /
Graué par Gir. Audran sur le tableau de Mr. le Brun premier Peintre du Roy. /
ce tableau est dans le Cabinet de sa Mte il a 16 piedz de hault sur 39. pi. 5. pou. de long.
LA VERTV PLAIST QVOY QVE VAINCVE
Alexandre n’est pas seulement touché de compassion en voyant la grandeur d’ame du Roy Porus qu’il a vaincu, et / fait son prisonnier, mais il luy donne des marques honorables de son estime en le receuant au nombre de ses amis, / et en luy donnant en suitte vn plus grand Royaume que celuy qu’il auoit perdu
SIC VIRTVS ET VICTA PLACET
Pori Regis victi, captique magnanimitatem non misericordia modo, sed honore prosequitur /
Alexander, Illumque in amicorum numerum recipit, mox donat ampliore regno /
Goyton (far right dotted in reverse) ........ (on the right edge)
Æri incisus per Ger. Audran ex tabula Car. le Brun Reg. Pictor. Primarij /
asseruatâ in Pinacothecâ Regiâ 16 pedes alta et 39 p. et 5. poll. lata.
The last forward major battle .
after Arbella – see above – the second one of the two dedicated to the conquest of Asia as according to Posner
“ the probably first representation of the Porus subject
in the history of art ”
the art-historically first depiction
of the world-historic decision to turn back .
Here then now
Alexander to the defeated brave aged Porus :
How do you expect to be treated ?
‘As befits a king.’
“ Moved by the dignity of these words, he made a friend of his enemy from this moment on. He could afford to display such generosity , since
‘he was master of the world ,
just as the oracle of Jupiter Ammon had predicted’ …
In the background on the far right there is a golden statue of (Heracles). Le Brun has taken pains to remind us, that the meeting between Alexander and Porus took place in the Indian camp, for it is known that Eastern people had a custom of bringing images of (Heracles) to the battlefield as a token of victory. Indian tents spread off into the distance. ”
(“The traditions of an Indian Heracles, that is of a H. who had advanced up to India, bear the imprint of the Greek myth advanced thither later”, Meyer’s, op. cit., VIII, 397/II.)
“ Thirty days A. stayed at the Hydaspes with sacrifices and games , also founded two towns , Bucephala (for his personal horse fallen in the battle) … and Nicaea … Without resistance the army reached (according to Tsouras in July) the banks of the Hyphasis ” (Meyer’s, op. cit., I, 319).
Not without reason both the two civil scenes, the Visit in the Tent of Darius + the Entry into Babylon, appeared to Nagler, as quoted above, as the most beautiful pictures of the cycle. Nevertheless I do not hesitate to see in present work, constituting the final chord, the by all means also pictorial culmination of the whole. The depiction of the victor’s turn, behind Alexander again Hephaestion, to the enemy lying before him wounded on a stretcher – a carriage coming from the right shall pick him up in a minute – breathes, supported by marvelous lighting also observed in the engraving,
greatness of own style.
Reflected by the set back landscape determining three quarters of the picture with its horizon bathed in wonderful light. Porus’ country will be bigger than ever before. His elephants lying around scattered have not died in vain.
Various small margin tears backed acid-freely, the white margin then also partially insignificantly age-spotted/smudged. Some smoothed longer little folds in the far right wide white margin outside the white platemark.
Impression of untold ultimate beauty , unsurpassedly reflecting “Audran’s vigorous light effect” Thieme-Becker refer to in comparison in the article Baudet (see above on B/1).
in Zusammenarbeit mit Lydia Beauvais
Chargée de mission (LE BRUN project), cabinet des dessins de Louvre
Charles Le Brun. First Painter to King Louis XIV
New York, Abrams, 1992
(soweit nicht anders vermerkt, entstammen Zitate dieser Quelle)
Charles LeBrun’s Triumphs of Alexander
The Art Bulletin XLI (1959), no. 3, 237 ff.
Wilhelm Weigand (Hrsg.)
Der Hof Ludwigs XIV.
Nach den Denkwürdigkeiten des Herzogs von Saint-Simon
3. Auflage. Leipzig, Insel-Verlag, 1925
E. Décultot, M. Espagne + M. Werner (Hrsg.)
Johann Georg Wille (1715-1808). Briefwechsel
Tübingen, Niemeyer, 1999
AKL V (1992), Audran
„Das Œuvre von A. umfaßt kaum mehr als 200 Stiche, eigentl. wenig,
wenn nicht eine Reihe außergewöhnlicher Formate wären .
Es gibt, ungeachtet der Bemühungen von Robert-Dumesnil, 1865 (für hier dessen 57-60) ,
Meyer, 1878, Audin/Vial, 1918, und R.-A. Weigert, 1939,
noch immer keinen ernsthaften Œuvrekatalog von A.“
Thieme-Becker (1908 ff.)
XXII (Le Brun) , II (Audran) + X (Edelinck)
R. Weigel’s Kunstkatalog
Abt. I (1838), 557
„ Die berühmten Schlachten Alexander des Grossen …
In 5 (zusammengefügten) Blättern im grössten qu. Imp. fol.
Erste Abdrücke mit – wie hier – der Adresse des Königl. Drucker Goyton . “
Nagler (1835 ff.)
„ Sie bestehen aus 13 großen Platten und sind in ersten Abdrücken
– wie hier – mit der Adresse von Goydon “
„ … hat G. Audran meisterhaft gestochen
und dabei selbst nicht wenig zum Ruhme Le Brun’s beigetragen ,
denn Audran verbesserte oft die Unrichtigkeiten der Zeichnung des Originals “ (II)
II (Le Brun)
„ Auf den Gipfel des Ruhmes erhoben ihn aber seine Alexander-Schlachten “
„ in zwei Platten und im ersten Drucke
– wie hier – mit Goyton’s Namen “
„ … hat Edelink hierin seine ganze Kunst erschöpft “ (II)
4. Auflage, 1888/90
So far the authorized grandiose Alexander Series at the request of Louis XIV of
Le Brun’s gigantic cycle of paintings on canvasses of 2.98-4.7 × 4.53-12.65 m
(117⅜-185 × 178⅜-498 in) from the years 1661-1668 as one of those immortalizations of Louis XIV for which for his 1st minister Colbert “no expense was too large when the fame, la gloire, of the king was in question”. Here then the Sun King in the assumed character of “Alexander the Great as Master of the Battles”. Whose personal radiance could inspire the artists indeed. So the great Bernini creating the portrait bust – “Especially as portraitist (this) has been the most admired master of his time for the extraordinary ability to represent the individual of the person” (Thieme-Becker) – said 1665 on the spot “the king has the head of Alexander”. With the result that “The magnificent bust of the young king … represents the self-assured character of the sovereign in an incomparable manner: it is something like Jupiter that shows from the monarch’s serene features” (Weigand, pp. 59, 152, 43 resp.). And so then also in the present case
“ the final consensus was
that no one other than Le Brun
could have created The Battles .”
Those culminations of acting by a man whose name just is program by its own. “Alexandros … the ‘men protecting’, Greek male name”. Here then “the Great” (356-323 B.C.),
“ the greatest conqueror of all times, son of king Philip and Olympias … His first tutor was Leonidas … then from his 13th year on the famous philosopher Aristotle. To this the honor is due of having awakened in the impulsive boy the idea of greatness, that sublimity and rigor of thinking which ennobled his passions and gave his power moderation and consciousness. A. always showed his teacher the sincerest reverence; frequently he said his father he only owes his life, his teacher that he lives decently … Already in his lifetime A. was glorified by the fine arts as no hero of antiquity before him ”
(Meyer’s, op. cit., I, 316 ff.).
As it already was Le Brun’s belief
that no one other than Audran
(and Edelinck) would be able to master the absolute reproduction in copper .
That is , The Triumphs of Alexander the Great as
“ a wonderful ecstasy , a dream ,
in which the Homerian epoch
was evoked once more ”
(Oswald Spengler on the Alexander Campaign)
“ (And so Alexander’s) grandiose conquests had the consequence that the Near East was opened for the Greek culture and merged with the Greek world, and that from this merge
the cultural period of Hellenism originated ”
so Meyer’s, op. cit., 319/II. Or in Heiner Borggrefe’s wording in the Brake/Antwerp exhibition catalog Hans Vredeman de Vries und die Renaissance im Norden (Munich 2002, cat. no. 146, p. 306) edited by him and others
The latter not without a good dose of irony. For the termination of the Indian campaign on the Hyphasis in fall 326 forced by the own troops and finally accepted by Alexander is to be understood especially also as intellectual capitulation and therewith to be considered
as an incredibly civilizing moment pure and simple .
Its psychological greatness inspired sixty years later the just 25-year-old Ridinger to a drawing remaining unpublished as far ahead of his own time by which he refined the hitherto existing history painting from the depiction of heroic acts to the reflection on these two generations before Jacques Louis David. But this, however, was just not yet the view of Le Brun’s age. And thus this
“ has immortalized Alexander’s (triumphs) , and these have immortalized him ”
(Nagler II). But their and his actual immortality were only founded by Audran’s four works forming the graphic set in conjunction with that by Edelinck due to their ability to make the fame experienceable on a wider range. Published repeatedly they had become scarce only a hundred years later even in Paris, although it is said that in Le Brun’s bequest there still was quite a stock for the purpose of dedications. And so in a letter of 1762 Wille writes from Paris to the eldest (Johann Martin, 1738-1790) of the Swiss grand collectors Usteri then among other things:
“ The great battles of Alexander , after Le Brun , engraved by G. Audran ,
are always expensive ;
if the impressions … are splendid .”
And seven months later, on July 24, 1763: “Now, however, I have the pleasure to report to you … This set consists of 15 pieces (thus was not put together).
the impressions are of the finest ,
that is by the famous copper printer Goyton
whose name is punched on it so: Goyton
and so one must have them when they shall be good ”
(op. cit. pp. 283 & 302 f.).
And just so they are present here then.
But, mind you, joined together! For Wille’s continuation towards Usteri, one should own them not put together, is not to be observed as being against the spirit of the whole aiming at grandeur. In such state the beholder remains on the low of a work in creation, irritated over and above by partly sinuous terminations following the intrapictorial shapes up to a foot projecting out. Elucidating once more the technical strain of a transfer into the copper:
“ … what time it has not taken to bring the drawings into copper! … One only considers: All drawings are engraved in copper through the mirror. You know what just this alone means ”
so the expert Wille per other works and occasion (op. cit. p. 152).
By the way not to be confounded with the small-sized repetition by Benoit I Audran (1661-1721), nephew & pupil of the great Girard, with all acknowledgement of assimilating drawing close pulled to pieces by J. Guibert in Thieme-Becker stating: “… it is sufficient to compare Gérard’s large engravings after Lebrun’s ‘les Batailles d’Alexandre’ with the same executed by Benoit. Lebrun’s large, somewhat theatrical, but very decorative painting, rendered so generously and painterly by Gérard, is quite petty and sweetish in Benoit’s rendering.” – The same should pertain to the smaller repetition of the set Guibert notes as executed “with success” per Benoit’s brother Jean as likewise pupil of the uncle. Also further epigones copied Girard’s masterpieces.
And this then the spiritus rector , Charles Le Brun
Grand Peintre du Grand Siècle
First Painter to Louis XIV
who ennobled him in December 1662 with the words:
“ We wished to bestow on Sieur LeBrun, our First Painter, a mark of the esteem that we hold for him and for the excellence of his works, which, it is universally acknowledged, outshine those of the famous painters of the last centuries. ”
On a most widely fanned out field of art he was indeed the pope of his country’s great century and its Sun King grown into a “world-historical power part” (Weigand), the latter remained obliged to him in also personal interest till the end. Already his father had raised the just 19-year-old by public proclamation to Painter of His Majesty Louis XIII. And the great Poussin, adored as model by the young man, uttered with presentiment on occasion of three works of his shown to him anonymously “If they were done by a young man, he will take his place among the great painters one of these days”. Nicolas Poussin, whose style and technique he studied on occasion of a common 3-years stay in Italy, was the only authority accepted by him as artistically superior. Both finally celebrities on own field. That convinced Italian, heroic landscapist, this Paris hub, the artistic authority pure and simple. With enormous diligence and great care in research. Ready and competent to meet in his person standards which to come up to it would have taken several otherwise. Means: great in thinking & doing. Furnished with the attraction of a magnet.
So banker Everhard Jabach II, hailing from Cologne and domiciled in Paris since 1638 and still in 1691 one of the “fort banquiers” there, insatiable collector-nimrod afflicted foremost from his father’s line, however, and himself afflicting for generations on, who in London 1650 on the sale of the art bequest of the executed Charles I routed whole royal dynasties to secure once and for all all works of Le Brun’s. Which were there, and which yet should come. And offered him just for the pure right to purchase 20 pistols (gold coin with a value of according to Meyer 1889 15.50 Mark) per day at complete freedom of creation. But Le Brun declined. “Fate had other things in store for the great master.” At least he painted, beside van Dyck, the family picture of the pester, however not without adding his own portrait prominently in a mirror. “A first-rate work of art however is the much admired large family painting by the hand of Ch. Lebrun” (ADB XIII, 522), of which the great travelers up to Goethe thought of and which was sold at the 1836 sale to the Royal Museum Berlin and 1945 destroyed. The second version had come to England already 1791/94 and finally in 2014 was acquired by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
More fortunate however was – at first – the no less extravagant Minister of Finance, Nicolas Fouquet (1615-1680). He dreamt of a new residence in Vaux near Melun. And he dreamt big. Too big also for just a First Painter. Required was competence for a Gesamtkunstwerk, a synthesis of the arts pure and simple. A superintendence from the works of art through the gardens up to the festivities. And there was only one. Le Brun was “the perfect artist to create all of these glorious and triumphant works”. With a performance compensated for in gold. Aside from “a luxurious apartment for (him) and his wife … a generous pension of 12,000 pounds in addition to regular payments for each work that he produced. Fouquet assigned him the task of decorating the Château Vaux-Le-Vicomte.” The opening gala in honor of Louis XIV August 17, 1661, was princely. Orchestrated by Le Brun. Closing with “a dazzling exhibition of fireworks (drawing) interlaced L’s for Louis in the night sky”. That was too much for this. Too royal, and what is more, even too expensive for this presently, who had started to rule himself only with Mazarin’s death March 9 that year. Only Queen Mother Anna, infanta of Austria, prevented Fouquet’s arrest yet the same night. For it would be “incorrect for a guest to arrest his host in his own home”. Louis made good some weeks later by the accusation of embezzlement and treacherous intentions alleged by Colbert. The insolent building owner died 19 years later in his cell in Pignerol. – Contrary to Gareau as Weigand, too, (this by the way with 1686 as Fouquet’s year of death) Meyer VI (1889), 469, sees the occasion less prosaic, rather the visit should have lulled the suspected into a false sense of security. At any rate the former defended himself “with extraordinary skill and knew to present himself as ‘booty of Mr. Colbert’” (Weigand 56).
“ Ironically it was at Vaux that Louis XIV first became aware of Le Brun’s incredible genius. After Fouquet’s arrest (Posner: perhaps already before this?), the king immediately took Le Brun into his own exclusive service. Le Brun had already laid the groundwork for the style that would become the inspiration for the future palace of the Sun King at Versailles, the style we know today as Louis XIV …
It was the great century of art .”
Represented by Molière, who had contributed a piece to the gala at Vaux, Racine, Lafontaine, who immortalized Le Brun’s Vaux orchestration, Corneille, and – exactly Le Brun. The latter since 1661 in the function of First Painter, since 1664 also officially and already in-between ennobled, see above.
“ L.s bearing is not limited to his performance as ingenious decorator and
‘ grand peintre du grand siècle ’,
but also rests in the universal personality ruling and determining all fields of the arts and crafts, to which the art of that epoch imparts its grandiose homogeneousness and downright stamps L. as the creator of the style Louis XIV ”
“ Between 1662 and 1668 Le Brun rose to the pinnacle of his glory …
It was during this period that he (at the royal suggestion at Fontainebleau in 1661) dedicated a series of works to the history of Alexander the Great, and he did not miss the opportunity to make a stronger connection between the magnificence of Alexander and that of the great King … ‘In all of Le Brun’s works, there is none more vast or more expressive.’ It is in The Battles that we see the purest expression of Le Brun’s own style ”
(so in 1992 once more Michel Gareau, as also for the following):
“ Sire, you are truly fortunate, to be able to wield your brush to produce such a beautiful expression of the glories of Heaven. ”
So the prior Jean-Jacques Olier de Verneuil (1608-1657; founder of the Society of Saint-Sulpice with the still existing seminary, laid 1649 the foundation-stone for Église Saint-Sulpice), admiring the progress of his order. He could have meant
the magnificence of the triumphs of Alexander
just the same.
Transferred to the global economic events of our days with their conquests reaching into the excessive still 2300 years later they prove to be of downright youthful encouragement for that which made up the century of Louis XIV: triomphe et gloire .
Both perceived as unity and lived as the way of seeing oneself. Outside & at home. “For it stands to reason,
since the decoration of a home has a profound effect on those who live there ;
it influences their feelings , and their relationships both with others and with themselves .
In short , it is a question of state of mind
and Le Brun was able to get inside the minds of the great personalities of his century.”
And “by the fact that in Le Brun’s time a painter had to be a great artist if he wished to be a very good decorator”, so Le Brun fulfilled, as illustrated by the above example of Vaux, this expectation in final singularity. For he felt and thought big. Just as then also his style of living was big. Due to earnings
“ making him probably the richest painter in seventeenth century Europe. He owned luxurious residences in Paris and Versailles. He lived in his own private estate at Montmorency where he was honoured with private visits (by princely visitors). ‘They were surprised – so a report in the Mercure Galant of June 1679, one year after the completion of the engraved Triumph set – to see so many waterways, fountains, waterfalls, grottos, and most of all the great canal in front of the facade of his home next to the gardens.’ There are also accounts ‘of a happy family life and a perfect marriage’. ”
The orchestration of the own life as the way to see oneself .
Could anyone else but Le Brun celebrate the battles, more correctly, the triumphs of Alexander? Another one but the at first still young, then before long so great Audran, expressly requested by Le Brun and called back to Paris in 1670 only thanks to Colbert’s assistance (first installment for the Batailles in August), why, also but Edelinck, adequately transfer these masterpieces into copper? We agree and believe no.
B) Follow above 11-sheet add-on sets as absolutely perfect in printing & preservation
A Royal Dedication Copy
comprising the finest of the fine ,
shining over from a Golden Age of the arts
in which égalité still had to be earned .
Offer no. 16,131 | sold
The Triumphs of Alexander the Great presently
additionally available in
„ vielen Dank für die Information und die Zusendung der Broschüre … Ich sammele seit Jahren Galeriewerke … Mir ist die Seltenheit des ‚Cabinet du roi‘ und auch die ensprechende Qualtät des angebotenen (fantastischen) Bandes bewußt … “
(Herr M. S., 23. Mai 2015)