Silvestre, Israel (1621-91; French)
Plans, elevations and views of Versailles (1664-84)
15 engravings
Gift of George Collins Levey 1879
National Gallery of Victoria (p.183.56-1 etc., as listed below)

= Levey gift, cat.84-98

[photo: p.183.55-1]

Silvestre’s engravings comprise the largest group of a series documenting the development of the building and decorative programs at Versailles during the opening decades of Louis XIV’s reign, collected as vol.5 of the Cabinet du roi in 1727: see also La Pointe Untitled plan of Versailles {1879} NGV [PR], etc. [Levey gift, cat.83-114].

The major design work was carried out by architect Louis Le Vau (1612-70) and garden designer André Le Nôtre (1613-1700).  Silvestre’s engravings range in date from 1664 through to 1684, when much of the first phase of building was complete. The majority of them were published in the 1679 volume Plans, veues, et ornemens de Versailles.

As listed in Suite et Arrangement (1727), the individual prints are as follows (with NGV acc.nos. and Levey gift cat.nos.):
Plan du Chasteau de Versaille (p.183.59-1) [Levey gift, cat.84] (by Silvestre?)
Plan du Chateau de Versaille avec tous les appartemens 1667 (p.183.60-1) [Levey gift, cat.85] (reproduced in Berger 1994, fig.48)
Veue et perspective du Chasteau de Versailles du costé de l’entrée 1664 (p.183.56-1) [Levey gift, cat.86]
Veue et perspective du Chasteau de Versailles, de dedans l’anti-court 1664 (p.183.57-1) [Levey gift, cat.87]
Veue et perspective du Chasteau de Versailles du costé de l’orangerie 1664 (p.183.58-1) [Levey gift, cat.88]
Plan de la Maison Royalle de Versailles 1674 (p.183.69-1) [Levey gift, cat.89]
Chasteau Royal de Versailles, vue du milieu de la grande avenue 1674 (p.183.54-1) [Levey gift, cat.90] (reproduced in Berger 1994, fig.51)
Chasteau Royal de Versailles veu de l’avant-cour 1674 (p.183.55-1) [Levey gift, cat.91]
Chasteau de Versailles, veu de l’avantcour 1682 (p.183.64-1) [Levey gift, cat.92]
Veue du Chasteau de Versailles, du costé du Jardin 1674 (p.183.53-1) [Levey gift, cat.93]
Veue du Chasteau, des Jardins, et de la Ville de Versaille, du costé de l’Estang 1674 (p.183.66-1) [Levey gift, cat.94]
Veue du Chasteau de Versailles, du costé de l’allée d’eau, et de la Fontaine du Dragon (p.183.65-1) [Levey gift, cat.95]
Plan General du Chasteau, et du petit parc de Versailles 1680 (p.183.61-1) [Levey gift, cat.96]
Veue du Chasteau de Versailles et des deux aisles du coste…1682 (p.183.63-1) [Levey gift, cat.97]
Chasteau de Versailles, veu de la grande place 1684 (p.183.62-1) [Levey gift, cat.98]


Not listed in NGV 1894 or 1905

For the NGV prints, some of them reproduced, see

See also Plans, veues, et ornemens de Versailles (Paris, 1679), plates 8-20: for a facsimile ed. see; cf. Suite et Arrangement (1727), pp.4-5; and Duplessis Cabinet du roi (1869), pp.9-10

There is a lucid survey of the architectural history in Berger A Royal Passion (1994), “Versailles – I (1661-1677)” (pp.53-72)