An important and rare collection of costumes from the 17th century, of obvious interest for the knowledge of fashions and costumes in the reign of Louis XIV.
This collection comprises 120 beautiful large size etchings (270 x 185 mm) on thick paper, most of them engraved by Nicolas Bonnart (father) or Robert Bonnart and printed by Nicolas Bonnart fils.
Are described under the name “recueils Bonnart” some rare engravings’ collections published in the last quarter of the 17th century by a family of engravers and sellers, the Bonnarts.
These engravings were published at the time, either singly, or in series. Thus it is impossible to provide an exact list.
“The Bonnarts editors of fashion engravings, of which they were the engravers if needed, were four brothers, sons of Henry dead towards 1682. We don’t know if these brothers were competitors, but the style and size of the engravings published by them are quite similar, which allowed to compile them in order to create sets more or less important composed of engravings bearing the signatures: Bonnart, R.B. dol (Robert Bonnart), H.B. (Henry Bonnart), I.B.F. (Jean-Baptiste Bonnart)”.
In addition to the Bonnarts brothers, are present in this compilation, engravings drawn by Berain and engraved by Lepautre.
“These collections of engravings are of the greatest interest for the knowledge of fashions under Louis XIV.
Some are real fashion engravings and can be quoted as the prototypes of the magnificent compilations published in the 18th century”.
Colas. Bibliographie générale du costume et de la mode.
These compilations, highly coveted for three centuries by engravings dealers in order to be separated and sold singly, can’t be found anywhere these days.
The engravings about trades presented comically and the theatre and opera costumes drawn by Berain testify of a great imagination and evoke the masquerades and spectacular directions presented to the Sun King.
Jean Berain (1640-1709) who signs these engravings was draughtsman for the King and ornamenter; he drew costumes and prepared masquerades for Louis XIV.
“He regularly took part in the decoration, the machinery of the opera; he ordered parties, fireworks and carousels.”
Benezit, I, 638.
This beautiful compilation of 120 etchings comprise various series and is composed as followed:
- Les Saisons: 2 sets of 4.
- Les Mois: 12 engravings.
- Les 4 parties du Monde: 4.
- Les points cardinaux: 4.
- Apollon: 1.
- Les sens: 5.
- Les 3 parties du jour.
- Les Impératrices romaines: 12.
- Les Muses: 9.
- Les Parques: 3.
- Costumes de théâtre et d’opéra: 10.
- Suite de Métiers: goldsmith, shepherd, gardener, architect, sculptor, painter.
- Costumes féminins étrangers: 12 including 3 Swiss, 2 German, 2 Turkish, 2 Greek, 1 Persian.
- Costumes d’Amazones: 4.
- Costumes masculins étrangers: 8 including the portrait of “Celebi Mehemet Effendi”.
- Personnages de comédies: 10 including Harlequin, Crispin, Scaramouche (1 pl. cut in the subject).
- Divers caractères: 8.
A precious compilation of very beautiful etchings, very evocative of Louis XIV’s century.