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Louis Le Grand, Roy de France. Louis XIV, King of France, c1683.

Louis Le Grand, Roy de France. Louis XIV, King of France, c1683.


by Mallet, Alain Manesson

Roy de France. Louis Le Grand. 17th century fine mezzotint copperplate engraving c1683 by engraver to King Louis XIV, Pierre Giffart (1637-1723). This fine portrait of the king appeared at the start of Mallet's Travaux de Mars, ou l’art de war.

Alain Manesson Mallet (1630-1706) studied mathematics and geometry at the College of Burgundy, under the military engineer, Philippe Mallet (1606-1679). Allain 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. 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 and included 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: 21 x 14 cm (8.25 x 10.25 inches).

Stock Number: appM-GiffartPrice: $120.00