Enfilade

Exhibition | Royal Spectacle at the French Court

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on May 31, 2014

3176_e

C.-N. Cochin père, after C.-N. Cochin fils, Décoration du Bal Masqué donné par le Roy, plate 7 of Recueil des Festes, Feux d’Artifice, et Pompes Funèbres (Paris: Ballard, 1756). National Trust / Waddesdon Manor, 3176. Photo by Mike Fear. Depiction of the ball given by Louis XV in February 1745, on the occasion of the marriage of the Dauphin to Marie Thérèse Raphaëlle of Spain. Click here for a higher resolution image.

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From Waddesdon Manor:

Royal Spectacle: Ceremonial and Festivities at the French Court
Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, 26 March — 26 October 2014

Curated by Selma Schwartz and Rachel Jacobs

This exhibition marks the publication of the Catalogue of Printed Books and Bookbinding: The James A. de Rothschild Bequest at Waddesdon Manor (2013), highlighting illustrated books published on the occasion of court festivities, celebrations and spectacles. Lavishly illustrated books, with engravings of the largest format, document the many extravagant festivities and ceremonies staged for the French court during the 17th and 18th centuries to mark the life cycle of births, marriages and deaths. Fanciful theatrical stage settings are the backdrop for richly costumed processions, equestrian tournaments, theatre performances, church ceremonies and spectacular firework displays. The books themselves are often bound in exquisite bindings intended for the royal family and aristocracy. While focusing on France, the exhibition also includes some comparative material from other European courts.

Tours of the exhibition with one of the curators will take place on Friday 30 May, 11 July and 26 September. For more information on how to book, please click here.

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Note (added 18 June 2014) — A 45-page, illustrated checklist with details on the 58 exhibited works is available for download as a PDF file at the Waddesdon website.

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