Etching and burin from plate n° 24 of "La Grande galerie de Versailles".
Drawn by Jean-Baptiste Massé (1687-1767) after Charles Le Brun (1619-1690).
Engraved by Louis Surugue (1686? -1762).
Published at Paris in 1752.
In a posterior frame in wood and gilded stucco. Good condition.
H. 43.5 x L. 34.5 cm (at sight).
Louis XIV is seated on his throne and hosts the French Academy (according to the Mercure galant) or an allegory of Eloquence (according to François Charpentier); Other Arts or Academies are represented in the background (it is not known for sure whether the Arts or the Academies are represented in this composition). The date of 1663 appeared only in the third state of the inscription, that due to Boileau and Racine. This date may relate to the creation of the Petite Académie, the future Academy of inscriptions and belles-lettres, to the reform of the statutes of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture (December 1663) or to the institution of "pensions and gratuities ”to men of letters and men of science. But other dates could have been retained for this subject and it is not sure that one originally wanted to refer precisely to one of the three events mentioned above; let us also cite the creation of the Académie des sciences and the Académie de France in Rome in 1666, the creation of the Academy of architecture in 1671. Let us also recall that Louis XIV became protector of the French Academy on the death of Chancellor Séguier in 1672, or according to François Charpentier (explanation published in 1684), it is this event which is evoked by this composition.