The topics of this blog are Armand-Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Duke of Richelieu, and the IDEAL CITY built on his command next to his magnificent CHÂTEAU on the borders of Touraine, Anjou and Poitou, in France.

Sunday 27 May 2007

Moncornet's engraving of the Cardinal


Cardinal, Duke of Richelieu and Fronsac, Peer of France, Commander of the Order of the Holy Spirit, Governor and Lieutenant-General for the King in Brittany, Grand Master and Superintendant of Navigation and Commerce of France, First Minister of State under King Louis XIII whose glory and power was carried to such a high point that he gave the law to all of Europe, and surpassed all sovereign powers while the Monarch was served by this famous political counsel. The Holy Roman Empire, Spain and Italy are irreprocable witnesses to this truth. And when these three states were very close to submission to our monarch, Death took the Cardinal from our sight in Paris, where he had been born, on 4 December 1642, aged 57 years, and he was buried in the Church of the Sorbonne, which he had himself had built. He was the son of François du Plessis, fourth of the title Seigneur de Richelieu, knight of the Order of the King, King’s privy councillor, Capitain of the Guards of His Majesty, and Susane de la Porte and Vezins, his wife.

This engraving seems to be from a collection of engravings of famous figures by Balthasar MONCORNET(1600-1668) Nicolas de LARMESSIN (1640-1725) & alii, Portraits des princes, seigneurs et personnes illustres “recueil de 242 portraits des rois, reines, princes du sang, ducs et pairs, generaux d’armée magistrats &c., la plupart gravés par Larmessin, Montcornet, etc...” sans lieu ni date [gravures des années 1650 & 1660].
There is a similar portrait, with precisely the same format and edge framing complete with expanatory text beneath, of Cesar de Vendome, signed B.Moncornet exc.[udit] avec priv.[ilège] 1667, size 17.8 x 20 cms (24 cms including text beneath the image). The absence of a signature on this print may indicate that this print was a subsequant un-credited edition.

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