[PERELLE, Gabriel together with his sons Nicolas and Adam PERELLE]. A collection of plates showing Versailles, its gardens and menagerie. [Paris], N.

Poilly (and once only Langlois), [c. 1680].

Oblong folio (285 x 400 mm.), a collection of 28 engraved plates by the Perelles cut out and mounted in an 18th century album, two plates cut close losing the lettering, four plates a bit browned, but the rest in fine impressions; generally clean and crisp, only two of the browned plates with small surface abrasions; bound in 198th century marbled paper covered sturdy paste boards, recent calf spine.

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An interesting collection of the fine views of Versailles with which Louis XIV dazzled the rest of Europe. The landscape views of Perelle teeming with figures show the splendour of the new Versailles. The impressive scale and complex layout of the gardens is shown in a variety of views. Some of these views show different versions of the same subject. Comparing these different versions, one is able to follow the designs changes over a period of time in the ever changing landscape of Versailles. This is fascinating.

The art of the Baroque garden found its ultimate expression in the creations of the landscaper Andre le Notre (1613-1700). He transformed the former swamp into a princely garden of ingenious geometry, and mechanical and hydrological engineering. The immense estate of Versailles was built by a team of artists and architects. Charles Le Brun was the general director, Mansart and Le Va the architects, and Girardon and Tuby two of the many sculptors furnishing garden ornaments.

The collection of plates offered here show the following views: the village of Versailles with the new Royal Palace in the background and the Grand Alee leading to it; view of the old Versailles palace, and a garden view of it; two views of an intermediate state of the new Versailles palace; three splendid different bird’s eye views of the new Versailles when finished and the gardens stretching beyond; two views looking from the façade of the new Versailles onto the Grand Court; two different views of the garden façade of Versailles, one also showing the orangerie; garden view with the beginning of the Grand Canal, with lots of large boats on it; three fine different bird’s eye views of the menagerie with a number of exotic animals visible; view of the Grotto; another garden view; façade of the Chasteau de Clagny; and a garden view of the same; view of the Grand Canal with fully rigged ship in the middle; view of water terrace with Grand Canal in the background; two different views of the Three Fountain parterre; view of the Cascade parterre; view of the Golden Fountain; view of the Labyrinth; and finally two different views of the Trianon.

See Berlin Kat. 2480-2483.

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