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History, Military, Louis XIV Procession, Praefectorum Castrorum, Israel Silvestre, Antique Print, 1662


Israel Silvestre (1621-1691)
Title Page from Praefectorum Castrorum
Paris: c. 1662
Copperplate engraving
10 x 29 inches, sheet
7 x 21.5 inches, image

Title or frontispiece page from a volume whose full title is Praefectorum Castrorum et Quinque Turmarum ex ingenti area, quae Vindocinensi Palatio adjacet, usque ad Ampitheatri aditum Incessus. The original book was a detailed large-scale accordion-fold panorama, approximately 178 inches wide, depicting the procession of June 1662 organized by the young king Louis XIV of France and sometimes referred to as The Grand Carrousel. The festivities took three days and culminated each day in pageants which the king attended in the costume of a Roman emperor. The noble participants were dressed in the costumes of Romans, Persians, Indians, Turks and Native Americans and came each day to a large theatre in front of the Tuilleries which held 15,000 spectators — the space is known to this day as Le Carrousel. Louis’s reign was notable for the splendor of various court entertainments; displays of horsemanship by finely-attired riders, with musical accompaniment provided by the most famous composers of the day. The Grand Carrousel of 1662 was supposedly offered in honor of Louis’s queen and infant son, but was commonly assumed to have been intended to impress the king’s new mistress, Louise de la Vallière.

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Israel Silvestre was a prolific Parisian printer and engraver, with over 1,000 known pieces that include landscapes and panoramas of France, the Lorraine and of Italy, which he visited a few times during his career. In 1662 he was named Ordinary Draughtsman to the King, and served as drawing master to the Dauphin. He was received as a member of the royal academy in 1670 on the recommendation of Charles LeBrun.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual light toning, wear, soiling, soft creases. Vertical center fold as issued.


Krieger, Lois A. “Carousels.” Dartmouth University: Library Bulletin. 1996. (23 April 2002).

“Israël Silvestre.” (23 April 2002).

“Silvestre, Israel.” Der Messekatalog. 41st Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair. 24 January 2002. (23 April 2002).

Additional information


17th Century