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Fortifications for Paris. Rare 17th century engraving. Mallet c1683

Fortifications for Paris. Rare 17th century engraving. Mallet c1683

by Mallet, Allain Manesson

17th century Antique Print of Paris with proposed fortification, for L'Art de la Guerre (The Art of War). Rare copperplate engraving by Mallet, published in Paris circa 1684 (with later hand-colour).

Alain Manesson Mallet (1630-1706) studied mathematics and geometry at the College of Burgundy, under the military engineer, Philippe Mallet (1606-1679). Alain Manesson then became a musketeer in the regiment of guards of Louis XIV. In 1663 he left for Portugal to enter the service of Alfonso VI. Under Marshal Schomberg Mallet served as an engineer and rose to the rank of sargento-mor (equivalent to commander) of artillery and inspector of fortifications. He greatly assisted in the fortification of Portugal in its skirmishes against Spain during the Portuguese War of Independence.

In 1667 the King of France, Louis XIV drew up a covenant with King Alfonso VI of Portugal, requiring the Spanish monarchy to end the war and sign the Treaty of Independence of Portugal in 1668. Mallet returned to France, and was appointed mathematics teacher of the pages of the King in Little Stable, Versailles (reserved for the sons of the noble families whose antiquity dated back to 1550 or earlier). As master of mathematics Mallet had time to write.

In 1671 his first publication was on military science and the art of siege warfare. It was so successful that it was translated into German the following year, and then several counterfeit copies were published. In 1684 Mallet published his updated work Travaux de Mars, ou l’Art de War  “on observations I’ve made on the art of war”, and provided engraved diagrams for the fortifications of cities and towns throughout Europe, including small scenes “to inspire young nobles to learn to draw, because in fortifications, drawing is not simply a noble propriety, but an absolute necessity”.

Size of page approximately 21 x 14 cm (8.25 x 10.25 inches). Top right nick out of page (see clearly in image), not affecting picture when framed. Price adjusted.

Stock Number: apM85Price: $198.00