PERELLE, Gabriel, Adam and Nicholas. Recueil de Veues des Plus Beaux Lieux de France. Comprised of seven parts in one volume, each part with individual title. Illustrated with a total 281 etched and/or engraved plates on 253 leaves, comprising 267 views and 14 plans and/or maps (3 being large folding). Oblong folio, 295 x 382 mm, bound in contemporary French mottled calf, with intricate gilt-stamped floral ornaments in spine compartments, red leather title label. [Paris: Chez Nicolas Langlois, ca. 1688].
Early impressions of the finest, most complete series of etched views to document French gardens and châteaux. A comparable or more authentic portrayal of seventeenth-century French architecture and garden design does not exist.
Of the total 267 etched and/or engraved views, over 150 concentrate specifically on seventeenth-century French landscapes and garden designs. These views represent the gardens in their original splendour, the landscape populated with elegant figures in contemporary costume. Regrettably, several of the private châteaux and most of the accompanying gardens no longer exist.
The contents of the volume begins with etched views of Parisian edifices, city portals, fountains, gardens and monumental buildings such as the Louvre, Palais Royal, Palais du Luxembourg, L'Hotel de Ville, etc. Then a number of the surrounding châteaux and their estates are pictured, including Versailles (which we see literally rise before our eyes as the plates were executed over a period of several years while the palace and gardens were under construction), Vincennes, Chantilly, St. Cloud and Fontainebleau, plus sixteen views of Rome and its environs including the gardens of Pamphili and Tivoli.
Most importantly, this set is comprised of early Nicolas Langlois (1640-1703) impressions of these grand plates. Gabriel Perelle (1595-1677) studied drawing with Daniel Rabel, official artist of the court of Henry III, and then Perelle entered the atelier of the French painter Simon Vouet. Perelle had two sons, Nicolas Perelle (born 1631) and Adam Perelle (1640-1695). The engraved work by the three Perelles is so similar in style that their work is often signed: "Fait par Perelle" as it frequently is in the present album..
The majority of impressions are sharp and dark. A few tears repaired, a three inch crack to bupper hinge, however still strong and perfectly intact. Overall, an exceptional copy.
Fowler 245. Brunet IV, 494. Berlin Katalog 2483. See: Millard I, 136 & 137.
Item nr. 166967