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Sentimens Des Plus Habiles Peintres Sur La Pratique De La Peinture Et Sculpture, Mis En Tables De Preceptes, Avec Plusieurs Discours Academiques, Ou Conferences Tenuës en l'Académie Royale desdits Arts, en presence de Monsieur Colbert, Conseiller du Roi en tous ses Conseils, Controleur General des Finances, Surintendant & Ordonnateur des Bâtiments du Roi; Jardins, Arts & Manufactures de France, Protecteur de ladite Académie, assemblée generalement en des jours solemnels pour la distribution du Prix Royal. Par Henry Testelin, Peintre du Roi, Professeur & Secretaire en ladite Academie.

Henri Testelin

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Variant Title

Conferences tenuës en l'Académie Royale
Tables de préceptes, avec plusieurs discours Academiques


A Paris,: Chez la Veuve Mabre-Cramoisy., M. DC. XCVI.

Physical Description

40 p., [13] pl. (11 dble.): illus.; 515 mm. (Quarto).

General Note

Page 31 is misnumbered 29.


Much of the text is engraved on the plates, as follows: [T.-p.] - Preface - [Pl.1] - [Pl.2:] Aux Amateurs De La Peinture - [Pl.3: 1st table of precepts:] Sur Le Traict - [Pl.4] - [Pl.5: 2nd table:] Sur Les Proportions - [Pl.6.] - [Pl.7: 3rd table:] Sur L'Expression - [Pl. 8,9] - [Pl.10: 4th table:] Sur Le Clair Et L'Obscur - [Pl.11] - [Pl.12: 5th table:] Sur L'Ordonnance - [Pl.13: 6th table:] Sur La Couleur - [Text:] Conferences De L'Académie: 1670. Sur L'Usage Du Trait Et Du Dessin; 1672. Sur Les Proportions; Sur L'Expression; Sur L'Ordonnance; Sur Le Clair Et L'Obscur; Sur La Couleur.

Responsibility Note

The first plate carries the name of L. Testelin as painter and that of Audran as engraver. The sixth carries the name of Le Brun as 'inventor'. The ninth names Raphael as painter. No other plate is signed.

The headpiece of the Conferences is signed by C. Le Brun as draughtsman and S. Le Clerc as engraver.

Summary Note

Some plates carry the dates 1675, 1678, 1681.

Testelin's 'Table de préceptes' was intended to be a codification of the teaching of the French Académie Royale, suitable for passing on to successive generations of students. It was first published in 1680, without any of the discussion and comment which Testelin provided for it. In 1681, following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Testelin became an exile in the Netherlands; but in 1696 he was permitted to publish this new edition of his Table together with its commentaries.

An English version of the Table had been published in London in 1688 as The Sentiments of the most Excellent Painters Concerning the Practice of Painting Collected and Composed in Tables of Precepts.


Presented by Dr Robert Levett, by 23 October 1773 (RAA CM I, 162).

Copy Note

The title-page is inscribed in ink, 'David Renouard'.

Binding Note

19th-century brown cloth-covered boards; 20th-century half calf; green morocco spine-label lettered 'Testelin - Sentimens De Plus Habiles Peintres 1696'.


Painting - Sculpture - Theory - France - History - 17th century
Treatises - France - 17th century
Pictorial works - France - 17th century


Françoise Mabre-Cramoisy la veuve, la veuve, publisher
David Renouard
Louis Testelin, source artist
Charles Le Brun, draughtsman
Raphael, source artist
Gérard Audran, engraver
Sebastien Le Clerc, engraver
Dr. Robert Levett, previous owner, donor