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La France vue du Grand Siècle. Dessins d’Israël Silvestre (1621-1691)

While Silvestre's engravings circulated widely, his drawings remain relatively unknown. The Musée du Louvre is home to a remarkable collection of them, to be shown to the public for the first time.

After training as an engraver under Jacques Callot, Israël Silvestre very quickly turned to the cityscape. Small and picturesque, his early “views” were of his native Nancy and the cities he passed through on the several journeys he made between Paris and Rome.

By contrast, his mature works offer broad panoramas of the French capital, with its royal festivities and the changes it was undergoing, and outlines of the cities conquered by Louis XIV in Lorraine and the Ardennes. In addition, his series devoted to the handsome Ile-de-France châteaux—Vaux-le-Vicomte, Meudon, Montmorency, Versailles—brought a fresh eye to architecture and gardens.
Relevant research areas: Western Europe, Baroque, Engraving

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