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These detailed equestrain engravings are from the work entitled L’Instruction du Roy en L’Exercice de Monter a Cheval authored by Antoine Pluvinel. Pluvinel was a master of horsemanship and sought more humane ways of treating the animals than the preferred method of spurs and whips. After training in Italy, he brought the new art of equestrian dressage back to his native Paris and established the French school of horsemanship. Pluvinel became the instructor to many of the royal family of France, including the future King Louis XIII. In 1623, three years after his death, some of Pluvinel’s annotations on this art were published along with engravings completed by the artist Crispin de Pas, the younger (aka Chrispin de Passe II) in a work entitled Le Manège Royal. Two years later, a more complete, edited version of the work containing the engravings by de Pas was published by Menou de Charnizay and given the new title of L’Instruction du Roy en L’Exercice de Monter a Cheval. This later work was tanslated and reissued numerous times. Most of the engravings in the work feature Pluvinel in an instructional position with the King either taking instruction or looking on as others do.
The engraved lines of de Pas’s work are very detailed and finely tuned. They are on fine chain-linked paper; the fold-out images measure ~15 1/2″ by 20″. and the portraits (order numbers pluv058, 059, and 060) are half that.
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