Georges Charmeton was from a family of artists in Lyon, France, which included his father and five brothers. He studied art in Paris and was received into the Academy in 1663. The same year, he received a commission to design the architectural ornamentation of the Hôtel de Breton Villiers. While he also made paintings, his reputation principally rests upon his designs for panels, cornices, vases, trophies, corners and ceilings in the style of Louis XIV, which were engraved by Nicolas Robert, A. du Cerceau, Fay and others.
Nicolas Robert was a French watercolorist, draftsman and printmaker, widely regarded as the most accomplished botanical artist of the 17th century. The son of an innkeeper, he made his way to Italy, where he produced his first great work, a unique album of floral paintings called the Guirlande de Julie in 1641, which established his reputation as an artist. In 1650, Gaston d’Orléans, brother of Louis XIII commissioned a set of paintings on vellum of the birds and flowers of his menagerie and botanical garden at the Château of Blois. Over the next decade he filled five large folio volumes. Robert was appointed painter to the King by Gaston’s nephew, King Louis XIV, in 1664, documenting the royal gardens. The 700 original natural history paintings he produced for Gaston d’Orléans and the royal collection became the nucleus of the famous Vélins du Muséum collection of natural history studies now in the library of the Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. His other crowning achievement were the 39 plates he produced for Dionys Dodart’s Mémoires pour servir à L’Histoire des Plantes, a large folio published by the Royal Press, a landmark in the history of botanical illustration.
Condition: Very good with the usual minor toning and wear, very pale faint scattered foxing. Few short tears, pinholes in margins where formerly strung together, restored.
Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France : Librairie Gründ, 1966. p. 447.
Berlin catalogue number 1052
“Nicolas Robert.” The Grove Dictionary of Art . New York: Macmillan. 2000. Online at Artnet.com. http://www.artnet.com/library/07/0723/T072368.asp (19 June 2003).