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Sporting Art, Horses, Equestrian, Dressage, Jousting, Le Manège Royal, Pluvinel, Antique Prints, 17th C.

Crispijn de Passe II (c. 1597-c. 1670) (artist and engraver)
Antoine de Pluvinel (1555-1620) (author)
Jousting Prints
from Le Manège Royal — L’Instruction du Roy, en L’Exercice de Monter a Cheval
[The Royal Riding School — The Instruction of the King in Horseback Riding Exercises]

Paris: c. 1623-26 or later 17th Century reissues
Hand-colored engravings
12.75 x 16.25 inches, platemark
14.75 x 19.5 inches, overall (average approximate)
Jousting Prints: $900 each
Dressage Prints: $550 each

Various prints of jousting and dressage by Crispijn de Passe II, from one of the classic works of the 17th century on the art of riding. Antoine de Pluvinel, the author of the work, was the instructor for Louis XIII of France and the prints illustrate a dialogue between master and pupil. Each scene is enclosed within classical architectural borders of columns supporting a frieze with raised decoration, and decorated with coats of arms.

Product description continues below.


Figure 45, 3rd part — Jousting
King Louis XIII dressed in red, parades on horseback, carrying a lance, past a wooden viewing stand where four distinguished men are seated: Mr. le Chanselier, Mr. le Pr. President, Mr. de Shasseau Neuf., and Mr. de la Villaueler Pl Socn. D’Estas.

Figure 46, 3rd part — Jousting
Knights dressed in red and blue joust outdoors. Between them is a wooden barricade, in the background a large palace.

Figure 49, 3rd part — Jousting
King Louis XIII (Le Roy), in red, demonstrates a sword fight on horseback with M. de Pluvinel, in blue. M. de Sau and five other men watch.

Figure 1A, 1st part — Dressage
Group portrait of King Louis XIII (seated) with (left to right):
The Duke of Bellegarde, M. le Grand, Equerry of France; M’al de Souvre; M. de Pluvinel; and Monsieur du Pre, Son of Monsieur de Baniamain, ‘Esous’ of the King.

Figure 12, 1st Part — Dressage
King Louis XIII (le Roy); M. de Potrincourt, Squire of the King; and M. de Pluum among the group on the left.

Figure 18, 1st Part — Dressage
King Louis XIII; his attendant on the left; M. de Pluvinel, M. le Grand, and others on the right.

Antoine de Pluvinel was born in France and taken to Italy to study horsemanship from the age of 10 to about 16, when he was taken in by M. de Sourdis, the premier ecuyer (first equerry) of King Charles IX. In his early 20s, Pluvinel was appointed first equerry to the king’s brother, who soon succeeded to the throne as Henri III. His reputation grew, and when Henri IV took the throne in 1589, Pluvinel remained as a member of the court. In 1594, Pluvinel realized his dream of founding a riding school. He was at work on his book Le Manege Royal when he died. A first, incomplete edition appeared in 1623, illustrated by Crispijn de Passe. A second version, illustrated by the same artist, with improved text was issued about two years later under the title L’Instruction du Roy, en L’Exercice de Monter a Cheval and this version was translated and reissued many times. The book shows the instruction of the young Louis XIII (1601-43) who was crowned in 1610 under the regency of his mother and reigned from 1617 onward. The text and illustrations explain Pluvinel’s principles of training horses in the form of a dialogue with the king, interspersed with commentaries by M. le Grand and other distinguished authorities. Pluvinel’s book was groundbreaking in its advocacy of humane training methods, a departure from the harsher practices commonplace at the time.

Crispijn de Passe II (rendered “Crispian de Pas” in French) was a Dutch engraver, draftsman, print publisher and writer. He was the namesake of his father, who trained all four of his children as engravers. De Passe II was the most prolific of his generation, engraving biblical and historical subjects, book illustrations and portraits, including a series of four contemporary European rulers that included Emperor Rudolf II and Louis XIII of France and important images of other European kings. He also made portraits of Dutch scholars, statesmen and admirals. Some of his works were made after his own designs, including most of Hortus Floridus (1614). From 1617 he regularly worked in Paris, where his notable works included Antoine de Pluvinel’s Le Manege Royal (c. 1623-26). From 1637, he was one of group of Dutch artists who made a series of drawings from Danish history for King Christian IV, many of which are in the collection of the Prentenkabine in the State Art Museum, Copenhagen.

Condition: Generally very good, the colors bright, with usual overall light toning, wear, soft creases and handling. Some of the blank margins slightly irregularly cut and some slightly short; some of the blank margins with minor staining from former matting — all of which can be matted out still showing white border and all the image.


“Crispijn (van) de Passe (ii).” The Grove Dictionary of Art. New York: Macmillan. 2000. (3 July 2003).

Ritter, Thomas. “Dressage: Xenophon to Antoine de Pluvinel.” Dressage and Sport Horse Magazine. (14 March 2019).