[Louis XIV of France. (1638–1715)] Silvestre, Israel. (1621–1691)
Premiere Journee: Festin du Roy, et des Reynes - Original Engraving
Rare original engraving by Israel Silvestre of the first day of the celebrations of the "Plaisirs de l'Isle enchantée" at Versailles from May 7th to 14th, 1664. The highly detailed engraving shows a grove in the Versailles gardens, with servants carrying trays of food on their heads, and a large semi-circular table at the rear, at which are seated the King and other members of the court. Caption at the foot reads: "Festin du Roy, et des Reynes avec plusieurs Princesses et Dames servi de tous les mets et presens faits par les Dieux et les quatre saisons." ("Feast of the King, and Queens, with several Princesses and Ladies being served all the dishes and gifts made by God and the four seasons.") Some areas of light toning; small remnants of paper tape to the verso; overall very fine. 16.75 x 11 inches (42.7 x 28.2 cm).
The engraving was issued as part of a suite, "Les Plaisirs de l'Isle enchantée," illustrating the open-air party held in the grounds of the palace of Versailles and providing a vivid record of the cultural aspirations of Louis XIV and his court. The festival also included the first performance of the Molière and Lully collaboration, "La princesse d'Élide."