Course de têtes: disposition des cinq quadrilles dans l’amphithéâtre

Translated Print Title: 
[Riding at Heads: Position of the Five Quadrilles in the Amphitheater]
Series/Book Title: 
Courses de têtes et de bague faites par le roi et par les princes et seigneurs de sa cour, en l’année 1662
Paris: Imprimerie royale

On June 5 and 6, 1662, the 24-year-old Louis XIV staged a “carrousel,” or equestrian tournament, to celebrate the birth of his son and publicly assert his authority. The highest nobles of the court, including the king, dressed up as Romans, Turks, Persians, Indians, and “Savages of America” and performed military skill contests on horseback. The event took place in Paris, in the courtyard between the Louvre and Tuileries palaces (today’s Place du Carrousel), and was documented in a sumptuously illustrated book published in French and Latin editions. This publication inaugurated the printmaking enterprise later known as the Cabinet du Roi.

For his next chivalric festival, the 1664 “Pleasures of the Enchanted Isle,” Louis XIV abandoned this urban setting in favor of the budding gardens of Versailles.

Graphic Arts Collection. Purchased with funds donated by the Friends of the Princeton University Library.