unbound volume; binding in 11/E/12 s. in plate on plinth r. "Nanteuil ad vivum Ping. et Sculpebat 1662."; inscr. in plate in oval frame "LVDOVICVS PHELYPEAVX D: DE LAVRILLIERE REGI A SANCT.' CONSS. SECRETIS ET. MANDAT."; inscr. within plate mark b.c. "53."; inscr. in brown ink on supporting sheet b. c. "55."; inscr. hand-written in brown ink on supporting sheet t. c. "No. 56. [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. The comte de la Vrilliere started his statesman career under Marie of Medicis in 1619, and held various prestigious position under Anne of Austria's regency and Louis XIV's reign, including secretary of State. A lover of art and literature, he had an important painting collection housed in a purpose built gallery in the Hotel de la Vrilliere in Paris, later known as the Hotel de Toulouse, today the Banque de France.