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Tapisseries Du Roy, Ou Sont Representez Les Quatre Elemens Et Les Quatre Saisons. Avec Les Devises Qui Les Accompagnent Et Leur Explication. Königliche Französische Tapezereyen Oder ueberaus schoene Sinn-Bilder / in welchen Die vier Element / samt den Vier Jahr-Zeiten / Neben den Denckspruechen und ihren Ausslegungen / vorgestellet werden. Aus den Original-Kupffern nachgezeichnet / und den Kunstliebend en zu Nussen und Ergoeken an den Tag gegeben und verlegt Durch Johann Ulrich Kraus / Kupfferstecher in Augstburg. -

RA Collection: Book

Record number


Variant Title

Königliche Französische Tapezereyen
Devises Pour les Tapisseries Du Roy


Gedruckt daselbst durch Jacob Koppmayer., M. DC. LXXXVII.

Physical Description

[12] [i.e. 8], 1-[142] [i.e. 44] p. (incl. unnumbered plates and numbered folios): illus.; 317 mm.

General Note

The main sequence of leaves consists of paginated letterpress text, numbered folios and unnumbered plates - the letterpress text so paginated by the publisher / printer (1-[142]) that it is evident that he has included in his sequence the eight unnumbered double plates (counted as four pages each), the one unnumbered divisional title-plate (counted as two pages) and the thirty-two numbered folios (counted as two pages each). By analogy we have described his six unnumbered preliminary leaves as [12] pages, but the first two 'pages' consist of his added engraved title-plate, and the last two consist of the first divisional title-plate.


The unnumbered preliminary leaves consist of an added title-plate, the title-page, the dedication and the preface, 'Der Verfasser An den Kunst-liebenden Leser'. These are followed by the first divisional title-plate, 'Devises Pour les Tapisseries Des Quatre Elemens. Denstsprüch In die Tapezereyen Der Vier Elementen'. The main sequence of the book (paginated 1-[142]) follows, in two divisions, the first on the tapestries of the Elements, followed by a divisional title-plate, 'Devises Pour les Tapisseries Des Quatre Saisons', and the second division, on the tapestries of the Seasons. The presentation of each tapestry takes the format of a text in French and German (page-numbered), an unnumbered double plate showing the tapestry and four numbered folios describing (and illustrating) the four related border devices.

Responsibility Note

The first four double plates are signed, 'Johanna Sybylla Krausen, eine gebohrne Küslen fecit'. No other plate or illustration is signed.

The work is dedicated by Johann Ulrich Krauss to Johann Jacob im Hof and several others.


A. Adams, S. Rawles and A. Saunders, A Bibliography Of French Emblem Books Of The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (1999), vol. I. no. F.247, p.472-3; J. Landwehr, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese Books of Devices and Emblems, 1534-1827 (1976), p.287; M. Praz, Studies in Seventeenth-Century Imagery (2nd. ed., 1964), p.334.

Summary Note

The added engraved title-plate reads, 'Devises Pour Les Tapisseries Du Roy, Ou Sont Representez Les Quatre Elemens Et Les Quatre Saisons De L'Année. Dencksprüch In die Königlich Französische Tapezereyen ...'.

The work describes eight tapestry designs of Charles Le Brun, four showing the Elements and four showing the Seasons, and the thirty-two devices designed by Jacques Bailly for the tapestry borders (four for each tapestry), showing abstract qualities. As is stated in 'Der Verfasser An den Kunst-liebenden Leser', the present engravings are copies of those made by Le Clerc (first printed in 1670). The French texts, by André Felibien, had first been published in 1655 (Elements) and 1667 (Seasons).


A preliminary leaf is inscribed in ink, 'Presented to the Library of the Royal Academy by Alexr Durlacher'. Presented by Alexander Durlacher in 1879 (see RA Annual Report for 1879, p. 50).

Copy Note

On a last leaf a print has been pasted, serving as a cul-de-lampe. It is lettered 'C' and is unsigned. It is an allegory showing a lyre flanked by putti blowing pipes, above a dolphin, above a globe.

Binding Note

19th-century green watered-cloth-covered boards; spine lettered 'Krauss. Tapisseries Du Roi. 1687.' and 'R.A.'


Elements - Seasons - Emblems (symbols) - Emblems (allegorical pictures)
Tapestries - France - History - 17th century
Emblem books - Germany - 17th century
Pictorial works - Germany - 17th century