bound volume (54.5 x 39.5 x 7.5 cm) s. in plate on ledge "Nanteuil ad vivum ping. Scul. et excudebat cum Privilegio Regis 1671"; inscr. in brown ink on supporting sheet b. c. "59- / Francois de Harlay de Chanvalon"; inscr. hand-written in brown ink on supporting sheet t. c. "No. 60. [underlined]" CRE NANTEUIL, Robert; (French; 1623-1678) DES NANTEUIL, Robert; (French; 1623-1678) PUB 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. One of the three witnesses present at the secret marriage of Madame de Maintenon with Louis XIV in 1683, François de Harlay, Archbishop of Paris, was a close collaborator of Louis XIV. Leading a scandalous private life, he showed no tolerance towards Protestants and urged Louis XIV to revoke the edict of Nantes in 1685. He was named Duke the year Nanteuil engraved this portrait.