Galerie du Palais Royal gravée d'après les Tableaux des différentes Écoles qui la Composent
One of the most beautiful collections of paintings in Europe
3 large volumes in-folio (55 x 35 cm); red half morocco with corners, smooth spine decorated, title and tomaison gilt on the spines (worn binding, rubbed).
Superb work decorated with three false titles, three engraved titles, a dedication to the Duke of Orleans surmounted by his coat of arms engraved on copper by H. Guttenberg after P. Choffard, and 369 prints on 352 plates engraved on copper by Couché, Varin, Prévost, Malaleuvre... after Vinci, Raphael, Poussin, Carracci, Van Dyck, Rubens, Breughel, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, etc. With a historical note by Croze Magnan and a table listing the prints classified by school (Florentine, Roman, Lombard; Venetian, Neapolitan, Flemish; Dutch, German, French)
Originally the home of Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642), the Palais Royal was given to Louis XIV by will. He in turn gave it to his only brother, Philippe de France, Duke of Orleans, known as Monsieur (1640-1701) who passed it on to his son Philippe de France, Duke of Orleans, known as the Regent (1674-1723).
With its 485 paintings, the Gallery of the Royal Palace was considered, at the time of the Regent, as one of the most beautiful collections of paintings in Europe. Originally built up by Cardinal de Richelieu when he lived in the palace, it was regularly expanded by the Regent. When the prince died, his son Louis (1703-1752) destroyed or sold many of the paintings. The collection remained intact during his son's lifetime, and in 1785, M. Couché, engraver of the cabinet of the Duke of Orleans, undertook to have it engraved. But in 1790, when almost all the drawings were finished and thirty issues had been published, his grandson Louis-Philippe d'Orléans duc de Chartres, known as Philippe d'Orléans, sold all the paintings in the gallery. "This counter-tempo did not stop the publisher. The deliveries continued with enough accuracy until the disasters of the revolution slowed down and even made suspend this publication: but such an interesting work was not to remain long imperfect. A great number of subscribers having expressed the desire that it be taken up and made, Mr. Couche, who had had the wise precaution of obtaining almost all the drawings, according to the principal paintings of the gallery before their dispersion, joined, in 1806, with sieurs Laporte and Bouquet to lead to its end an enterprise as useful to the arts as it was pleasant to the amateurs. (Croze-Magnan, Notice, p. 4)
The plates of volume I present paintings by Leonardo, Michelangelo, Vasari, Allori, Andrea del Sarto, D. Ricciarelli (Volterra), Raphael, Sebastian of Venice, Giulio Romano, Polidoro Caldara, Perrin del Vaga, Nicolo del'Abbate, F. Baroche, J. Porta (Salviati), D. Feti, J. Cesari (Josepin), P. da Cortona, A. Sacchi, M. Cerquozzi, J. Courtois (Bourgignon), C. Maratti, Correggio, F. Mazzola (Parmézan), L. Carracci, Aug. Carracci, Caravaggio, F. Albani, G. Reni, Domenichino, Guercino, P.-F. Mola, C. Cignani, G. Calassi (Cagnacci).
The plates of volume II present paintings by G. Bellini, Titian, Giorgione, Pordenone, J. Del Ponte (Bassano), Tintoretto, A. Schiavone, Veronese, L. Leoni (Paduan), S. Suster, Palma Vecchio, F. Bassano, L. Bassano, C. Caliari, A. Veronese, S. Scorza, L. Cambiaso, J. Ribera (Espagnolet), L. Giordano, P. Mattei, D. Velasquez de Silva, P. Breughel, J. Bol, M. De Vos, P. Van-Mol, P. Brill, F. Porbus, J. Breughel (Velvet), Rubens, Rombouts, J. Miel, Van-Dyck, D. Teniers.
The plates of volume III present paintings by A. Moro, A. Bloemaert, A. Stalben, C. Poelenburg, Rembrandt, G. Dow, P. Laer, P. Vouwermans, H. Swanevelt, B. Breenberg, J.B. Weeninx, P. Potter, Tol, F. Moucheron, F. Mieris, G. Netscher, G. Schalken, Van-der-Neer, J. Griffier, A. Van-der-Werff, J. Wynants, J. Rottenhamer, J.- H. Roos, Vagner, F. Clouet, S. Vouet, N. Poussin, Claude Lorrain, Le Valentin, P. de Champagne, S. Bourdon, E. Le Sueur, Ch. Le Brun, J.B. Santerre, H. Rigaud, A. Wateau.
A fine copy despite a small worm gallery on the inner edge of the plates on about 2/3 of volume 2.