Le Pautre, Jean (1618-82; French)
Relation de la Feste de Versailles du 18 Juillet 1668 (1678-79)
5 engravings
Gift of George Collins Levey 1879
National Gallery of Victoria (cat.nos.as listed below)

= Levey gift, cat.nos.123-27

[photo: Plate V: Illuminations… (p.183.90-1)]

Le Pautre was known especially for his plates of French Baroque architectural decoration (see linked artist entry for further details).

These prints document the second major festival staged by Louis XIV at Versailles, to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, marking the end of the war between France and Spain.

Events in pavilions erected at various locations in the gardens included a new comedy by Molière and a ballet with music by Lully, a lavish banquet, and a ball. As dawn approached, the festivities concluded with a firework display (Plate V: see reproduction above). A book documenting the events was published in 1679, including a text by André Félibien, and Le Pautre’s five engravings.

The individual engravings are:
I. Collation donnée dans le petit Parc de Versailles 1678 (p.183.79-1)
II. Les Festes de l’Amour et de Bacchus, Comedie en Musique representée dans le petit Parc de Versailles 1678 (p.183.82-1)
III. Festin donné dans le petit Parc de Versailles 1678 (p.183.86-1)
IV. La Salle du Bal donné dans le petit Parc de Versailles 1678 (p.183.88-1)
V. Illuminations du Palais et des Jardins de Versailles 1679 (p.183.90-1)

This festival was held 4 years after the celebrations marking the commencement of the development of the palace and gardens under Louis XIV: see Silvestre Plaisirs de l’Isle enchantée… 1664 {1879} NGV [PR].

See also Le Pautre (J.) & Chauveau Divertissements de Versailles… 1674 {1879} NGV [PR].


Not listed in NGV 1894 or 1905 

The NGV catalogue provides details and reproductions. See also Suite et Arrangement (1727), p.15; Duplessis Cabinet du roi (1869), p.12; and Fuhring Kingdom of Images (2015), pp.272-3, cat.97 (entry on no.III above by Louis Marchesano: as by Lepautre after Bérain; and also reproducing no.II)