unbound volume; binding in 11/E/12 s. in plate on plaque "Nanteuil Faciebat."; inscr. in plate on plaque "PETRVS PVTEANVS / CL. FIL."; inscr. within plate mark b.c. "77."; inscr. in brown ink on supporting sheet b. c. "79"; inscr. hand-written in brown ink on supporting sheet t. c. "No. 80. [underlined]" CRE NANTEUIL, Robert; (French; 1623-1678) Part of William Hunter's original bequest, this is one of two volumes containing 216 engraved portraits by or after Robert Nanteuil. Head of the great school of 17th century French portrait engraving, his skill and reputation were unequalled. His sitters were distinguished figures of Louis XIV's court, mainly royalty, statesmen, military and church leaders.
Celebrated for its faithfulness to Nature and the simplicity of his designs , Nanteuil's work appealed equally to art lovers and to those fascinated by the achievements of 17th century France. Hunter's volumes are a rare surviving example of a comprehensive early 18th century collection of Nanteuil's work. Together with his brother Jacques, Pierre, also known as Puteanus, was a historian and keeper of the King's Library. They were from a family of high-ranking civil servants, allied to the most prestigious families of French parlementarians (de Thou, Seguier, Harlay). The important library they inherited, to which they added numerous books and manuscripts, was later gifted to the King's Library. This is one of two portraits of the sitter by Nanteuil.