bound volume (65.5 x 50.5 x 5.5 cm) s. on plate b. r. "R. Bonnart, Sculp."; French inscr. on plate b. l. "Valenciennes prise d'assaut, et sauvee du pillage par la clemence du Roy, le 10 Mars 1677 / Dessigne sur le lieux, pour le Roy tres-chrestien, par F. Vander Meulen. Se distribue a Paris par l'Auteur, en l'Hostel des Manufactures Royales des Gobelins, Et en la rue St Jacques, Avec privilege du Roy."; Latin inscr. on plate b.r. "Valencenae vi captae et clementia Victoris ab excidio servatae XVI Martii 1677 / Ad Verum delineatus pro Rege Christianissimo per F. Vander Meulen. Prostat Parisiis apud Authorem in Regia Artium officina Vulgo dicta des Gobelins Et in via Jacobea, Cum privilegio Regis." CRE BONNART, Robert; (French; 1652-1729) AFTER MEULEN, Adam Frans van der; (Dutch; 1632-1690) PUB MEULEN, Adam Frans van der; (Dutch; 1632-1690) Part of William Hunter's original bequest, this volume contains 112 engravings after paintings made or published by van der Meulen. A Flemish Baroque artist who specialised in horses and landscapes, he was invited to work for Louis XIV as a painter of views of royal castles, hunting scenes, processions, travels and military campaigns. Travelling with the troops and sketching on the battlefield, van der Meulen's fresh style was influential in the development of the relatively new genre of battlescapes. Following the success of his paintings recording the campaigns in Flanders he had many of his works engraved. Most were included in the remarkable collection of engravings known as the Cabinet du Roi originated with Louis XIV's minister J.B. Colbert. By 1670 these engravings were published in volumes and presented as gifts to visiting dignitaries or offered for sale. Hunter's volume, still in its late 17th century binding, is a now rare surviving example.
From a series depicting the conquests and battles of Louis XIV grouped at the front of the volume, this print depicts Louis XIV and his troops before the town of Valenciennes in 1677. Part of the Spanish Netherlands, France contested Spain's claim to this region in the Dutch War and successfully took this and other towns. Van der Meulen used a small group of engravers to copy his works, including his pupil, French draughtsman Robert Bonnart.