Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Jean Le Pautre etchings
Dates: ca. 1650-1750
Collection number: P830001
Getty Research Institute
Special Collections and Visual Resources
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, CA
Abstract: This collection consists of 502 etchings after
Le Pautre's own compositions, some published during his lifetime and some
republished late. The etchings include historical, mythological, and biblical
scenes, exterior and interior architecture, furniture, ornament, and trophies.
From Theodore Besterman's collection.
Language: Collection material in
Open for use by qualified researchers.
Jean Le Pautre etchings, ca. 1650-1750. Getty Research Institute,
Research Library, Accession no. P830001.
Acquired in 1983. Formerly owned by Theodore Besterman.
Anne-Marie Schaaf processed and rehoused this collection, removing
all prints from acidic mats. The finding aid was completed in April 1996.
Key to Item Entries
Title of suite. Publisher, date.
State of prints.
Number of plates. Measurements.
Former Rare Book Number.
Titles are listed exactly as they are rendered on the prints.
Supplied titles are in brackets.
Jean Le Pautre is the designer and etcher, and all entries are
All prints are published in Paris.
Publication information is taken directly from the prints and from
Prints are assumed to be first state unless otherwise specified.
All measurements are in centimeters. For suites or pairs of prints,
only one, usually the title page or the first print, has been measured. Pl. =
platemark; Sh. = sheet. Al. = album page.
Guilmard = Désiré Guilmard. Les maîtres ornemanistes, dessinateurs,
peintres, architectes, sculpteurs et graveurs; écoles française, italienne,
allemande, et des Pays-Bas (flamande & hollandaise). Paris, 1880-81: E.
Guilmard p. 70: 11 refers to suite 11 on page 70.
Berlin Kat. = Staatliche Kunstbibliothek (Berlin, Germany). Katalog
der Ornamentstichsammlung der Staatlichen Kunstbibliothek, Berlin. Berlin;
Leipzig: Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, 1939.
Berlin Kat. 313: Tome 1, Nr. 11 refers to suite 11 in the first
volume of the Jean Le Pautre listing at number 313.
Album page numbers are written in black ink in the top right margin
of the printed sheet or on a sheet onto which the prints are mounted. Most
pages were formerly bound, with a cut edge at the left and red or black stain
visible on the other three edges. The numbering and binding were probably done
in the early twentieth century.
The Rare Book Numbers were formerly used at the Getty Research
Theodore Besterman (1904-1976) was a well-known bibliographer,
Lecturer in the University of London School of Librarianship, librarian,
biographer and book collector.
Jean Le Pautre (1618-1682), the most important and imaginative
ornament engraver of the seventeenth century, was born and died in Paris. He
was the brother of Antoine (1614-1691), an architect, and the father of Jacques
(d.1684) and Pierre (1648-1716). He began his career in a relative's joinery
shop, for which he drew plans and ornaments. In 1640 he may have gone to Rome
with Adam Philippon, head of the shop and Le Pautre's mentor. Le Pautre
produced his first plate in 1643 and finally became a member of the French
Academy in 1667. He created over 1500 prints, nearly all after his own
compositions. He disseminated the full repertoire of the Louis XIV style across
Europe. His extensive and versatile production included ornament (exterior and
interior architecture, furniture for residences and churches, other decorative
arts designs, and pure ornament); classical historical and biblical narrative
scenes; portraits; broadsheets; business cards; and representations of festive
occasions. His work was largely architectural or sculptural, for workers in
wood or metal or paint, not usually for textiles. Much of his work was
republished in 1751 by Charles Antoine Jombert in three folio volumes titled
Oeuvres d'Architecture de Jean Le Pautre.
Scope and Content of Collection
This collection consists of 502 etchings after Le Pautre's own
compositions, some published during his lifetime and some republished later.
Most are undated; some bear dates of 1659, 1661, 1663, and 1667. They were sold
by Le Pautre himself, Estienne Gantrel (1646-1706), Jacques Chereau le jeune
(1688-1776), Jan Van der Bruggen (w.1649-1714), Nicolas Langlois (b.1640),
François de Poilly le vieux (1622-1693), Pierre Mariette (103-1653), Pierre II
Mariette (1634-1716, Jean Mariette (1654-1742), and by Le Blond (Christof le
vieux, c.1600-1665; Christof le jeune, b.1639; and/or Jacob Christoph,
1667-1741), and Jollain (Gérard, d.1683; François, 1641-1704; and/or
François-Gérard, 17th century). All are grouped in suites, usually six prints
each, sometimes four, five, or twelve.
These designs would have been useful for painters, architects,
sculptors, furniture-makers, carvers, and metalsmiths. Historical,
mythological, and biblical scenes focus on Ovid's Metamorphoses and the story
of Moses. Exterior architectural designs depict fountains, gardens, grottoes,
and porte-cocheres. Interior architectural designs depict altars, tombs, terms,
doors, paneling, chimneypieces, alcoves, and ceilings. Furniture designs depict
vases, mirrors, tables, gueridons, frames, and cabinets. Pure ornament patterns
include friezes of rinceaux and classical narrative scenes, panels, grotesques,
These prints were part of the art books collection of Theodore
Decoration and ornament,
Genres and Forms of Material