Display | Persuading the King: A MS Petition by Gabriel de Saint-Aubin

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on April 21, 2016

Now on view at Waddesdon:

Persuading the King: A Manuscript Petition by Gabriel de Saint-Aubin (1724–1780)
Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, 23 March — 23 October 2016

Curated by Rachel Jacobs

unspecifiedThis display highlights a new addition to the collection at Waddesdon: Gabriel de Saint-Aubin’s volume, Placets de l’officier Desbans (1775). This elaborate manuscript petition (placet) was  submitted to Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette by a soldier, Edme Louis Desbans, asking for a long-promised promotion. Gabriel de Saint-Aubin was one of the greatest draughtsman of 18th-century France, and the drawings with which he brought this document to life were designed to glorify the royal couple while appealing to their artistic tastes and sensibilities. This unique work offers a glimpse into the politics of promotion and favour at the French court near the end of the Old Regime—in which the fortune of an individual depended upon the arts of persuasion. It has all sorts of resonances today, from patronage to the mysterious world of the political lobbyist.

A pdf file of the text panels is available at the Waddesdon website.

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