A beautifully bound collection of views of seventeenth century Paris, Versailles and the surrounding country estates. The majority of the plates are the work of the engraver Adam Perelle (1640-95) ‘graveur de roi’ to Louis XIV. He was the son of Gabriel Perelle (1603-77), engraver and artist and brother to artist Nicolas (1631-95). Gabriel developed his artistic talents under Daniel Rabel. He went on to develop suites of plates on the country houses of France. In this he was aided by both his sons.
Adam taught the nobility and amongst his pupils was the Duc de Bourbon. As usual this is composite in nature being made up with a varying series of plates. It begins with the gates of the city, moving onto its gardens, palaces, and public buildings; these include the Royal Palace, Les Invalides, the Tuileries Gardens, the Observatory, and the Sorbonne. A fine series of 38 plates of the Palace of Versailles follows. To end the work are the Chateau around Paris are depicted including Chateau de Chantilly, Chateau de Fontainebleau, and the no longer extant Chateau Neuf de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Chateau de Saint-Cloud, Chateau de Richelieu, and the Chateau de Chilly-Mazarin.
Of the 137 plates, 112 bear his imprint, with 11 bearing the imprints of the publishers Nicolas Langlois, or Nicolas de Poilly alone; 14 plates are before letters with manuscript titles. Four of the plates bear the name of Israel Silvestre as artist. Silvestre (1621-1691) was a leading draftsman etcher and print dealer, who specialised in topographical views. In 1673, he was appointed drawing-master to Louis, le Grand Dauphin. Benezit (1911-19); cf Berlin Cat. 2482-3, 2675; Fowler (1991) 245; Millard (1993) 136 & 7.