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Once considered the golden age of French printmaking, Louis XIV’s reign saw Paris become a powerhouse of print production. During this time, the king aimed to make fine and decorative arts into signs of French taste and skill and, by extension, into markers of his imperialist glory. Prints were ideal for achieving these goals; reproducible and transportable, they fueled the sophisticated propaganda machine circulating images of Louis as both a man of war and a man of culture.
This richly illustrated catalogue features more than one hundred prints from the Getty Research Institute and the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, whose print collection Louis XIV established in 1667. An esteemed international group of contributors investigates the ways that cultural policies affected printmaking; explains what constitutes a print; describes how one became a printmaker; studies how prints were collected; and considers their reception in the ensuing centuries.
A Kingdom of Images was published to coincide with an exhibition on view at the Getty Research Institute June 18 through September 6, 2015, and at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris November 2, 2015, through January 31, 2016.
Peter Fuhring works at the Fondation Custodia, Paris, where he is in charge of Frits Lugt’s Marques de collections de dessins & d’estampes. Louis Marchesano is curator of prints and drawings at the Getty Research Institute. Rèmi Mathis and Vanessa Selbach are curators of seventeenth-century prints in the dèpartement des Estampes et de la Photographie at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, where Vanessa Selbach is also head of the Rèserve and old master prints service.
“Lavishly illustrated. . . . A scholarly book that gives us a new appreciation of the variety and impact of the printed image in seventeenth-century France.”
“…much more than an exhibition catalogue . . . . the best introduction available to this period of French printmaking.”
—The Burlington Magazine
“An essential resource for those interested in the history of France, kingship, or prints and a valuable read for anyone who enjoys exploring the past.”
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