Engraving for the king. Historical collections of the Louvre's Chalcography - Exhibition catalogue - French
Since its creation in 1797, the Chalcographie du Louvre has been responsible for the conservation and printing of copper-engraved plates for the production of prints. Its collection of nearly 14,000 works comes mainly from three historical collections: the King's Cabinet, which brought together the engravings commissioned by Colbert to display Louis XIV's power to the public; the Menus-Plaisirs, responsible for organizing the festivities, which used engravers to immortalize the shows and royal ceremonies; the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture, which gathered a large collection of engraved plaques consisting of the reception pieces given by the engravers upon their admission and the many acquisitions made during the 18th century.
This book offers an astonishing discovery of the history of these copper plates, often considered only as tools when they are so many magnificent objects of art. From the preparatory drawing to the final print, their authors are masters such as Claude Mellan, Gérard Edelinck, Sébastien Leclerc, Charles Nicolas Cochin fils or Gilles Demarteau, admirable engravers and true artists.
This book is published on the occasion of the exhibition presented from 21 February to 27 May 2019 at the Louvre Museum.