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Les peintures de Charles Le Brun et d’Eustache Le Sueur ... [&] La galerie de Monsr. Le Président Lambert …
Two works in one volume in-folio; contemporary red morocco, triple gilt fillet on the boards, coat of arms in the center, smooth spine richly decorated, double fillet on the edges, gilt edges, inner roulette, comb paper endpapers and backpapers (contemporary binding).
Superb copy on strong paper and with large margins, gathering two very beautiful suites of plates drawn by B. Picart and engraved on copper by Beauvais, L. Desplaces, Ch. Dupuis, Duchange, Duflos, Picart reproducing the paintings of Charles Le Brun and Eustache Le Sueur in the private mansion of Jean-Baptiste Lambert on the Ile Saint-Louis.
The first suite consists of an engraved title, a dedication leaf to the marquis du Chastelet, former owner of the "Lambert" mansion, marshal of the king's camps and armies, governor of Semur and grand bailli of the Aunis and Sarlouis countries engraved by G. Duchange, 6 pages of text containing the description of the house and its decorations and 21 engraved plates, 13 of which are on two pages. The second suite includes an engraved title, a dedication to Nicolas Lambert president of the Second Chamber of Requests of the Parliament of Paris engraved on a double page by B. Picart and 15 engraved double page plates.
Some plates of the second part of the work represent ceiling ornaments and vaults. They are marked with dotted lines, with indications of cutting and pasting, allowing an assembly of the various illustrations in order to reconstitute the whole of the ceiling of the President Lambert Gallery. This element explains why this collection is so rarely found intact.
Copy in a red morocco binding of the time, with the English coat of arms of Henry Fiennes Pelham-Clinton, 2nd Duke of Newcastle (1720 - 1794), with the motto of the English Royalty "Honi soit qui mal y pense" constituting the Order of the Garter, founded in 1378 by Edward III of England, the highest authority of the English Aristocracy.
Classified as a historical monument since 1862, the Hôtel Lambert, located on the Ile Saint-Louis, is considered the most beautiful private mansion in Paris. Built in 1640 by the architect Le Vau and decorated by Lebrun and Lesueur, this residence constitutes a remarkable draft of French classicism announcing the future Château de Versailles. Indeed, the Galerie d'Hercule by Lebrun, apart from its size, is similar in every respect.
Three prints and five handwritten plans of the hotel are included in the book. The prints, taken from Mariette's "L'Architecture françoise, ou Recueil des Plans, Elévations, Coupes et Profils des Eglises, Palais, Hôtels & Maisons particulières de Paris... built newly by the most skilful Architects, and delivered and measured exactly on the spot" published in Paris in 1727, are : - "Elevation of the façade of the main building on the side of the courtyard where the main entrance of the House of Mr. President Lambert is located" (cf p.180 V3 Mariette) - "Section of the main building at the back of the courtyard, where the main staircase is located - Elevation of the façade of one of the aisles of the House of Mr. President Lambert, on the side of the courtyard - Section of the main building on the street, where the main entrance is located" (cf p.182 V3 Mariette) - "Elevation of the façade of the main building at the end of the courtyard where the grand staircase of the House of Mr. President Lambert is located - Elevation of the façade of the aisle where the gallery is located on the side of the terrace - Section of one of the aisles - Section of the main building in aisle". Large old marginal restoration (cf p.184 V3 Mariette) The five handwritten plans represent : - "Ground floor plan of the House of Mr. Lambert President of the Parliament. Seize dans l'Isle de Nôtre Dame à Paris, bâtie sur les desseins de Louis le Veau premier Architecte du Roy" - "Plan du premier étage de la Maison de Mr le Président Lambert" - "Plan du Second étage de la Maison de Mr le Président Lambert" - "Plan au troise étage de La Maison de Mr Le President Lambert" - "Plan des caves de la maison de Mr Le President Lambert" The first three handwritten plans are the "refurbished" plans of the first floor, first and second floors of the Hôtel Lambert Unsigned, it is however possible to date them to the period of Mr de La Haye* thanks to Blondel's work "Architecture françoise, ou Recueil des Plans, Elévations, Coupes et Profils des Eglises, Maisons Royales, Palais, Hôtels & Edifices les plus considérables de Paris... built by the most famous Architects, and measured exactly on the spot. With the description of these Buildings, & useful & interesting Dissertations on each kind of Building" published in Paris in 1742.
* Marin de La Haye (1684-1753), fermier général, bought the Hôtel Lambert from the Marquise du Châtelet in 1745. He spent more than a million pounds to restore it. At his death, the hotel passed successively into the hands of his brother Salomon de La Haye (1691-1764), his nephew Charles-Marin, known as Benjamin de La Haye (1736-1790) and his grand-nephew Etienne de La Haye (1757-1794). The Hôtel Lambert was sold by the de La Haye heirs to Achille-René Davène, seigneur de Fontaine (1745-1828) in 1781.
In his book, Blondel takes Mariette's plans with some updates and adds some text. He indicates: "There are some changes in the distribution... We are satisfied to indicate this addition, the size of the plates, which are engraved since a long time, not having allowed to add this new distribution...". Our manuscript plans include these modifications concerning in particular the distribution, the naming and the function of certain rooms (e.g. the antechamber on the second floor, which became the dining room, has two windows to the detriment of the library, ...), the disappearance and the creation of certain other rooms (e.g. there is no longer the "room" adjoining the cabinet on the left side of the drawing, the appearance of an interior staircase in the antechamber at the bottom left, the creation of an apartment near the gallery with a reduction of the courtyard...) The last two manuscript plans (third floor and cellars) are unpublished. Indeed, neither Mariette nor Blondel give, in their respective works, engraved plans of these floors. However, the rooms are not captioned. The plan of the cellars has a grape watermark dated 1742-Auvergne.