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One of the 200 special copies issued for the Antwerp magistrates
of this monumental work on the Splendid Entry of Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria
into Antwerp (1635), after designs by Rubens

GEVAERTS, Jean Gaspard (Caspar GEVARTIUS) and Pieter Paul RUBENS.
Pompa introitus honori serenissimi principis Ferdinandi Austriaci Hispaniarum Infantis S.R.E. Card. Belgarum et Burgundionum Gubernatoris etc. a S.P.Q. Antwerp. Decreta et adornata. ...
Antwerp, Theodoor van Tulden (colophon: printed by Jan van Meurs, 1641), [published January 1643]. Royal 1mo (full-sheet leaves) (57 x 42 cm). With a letterpress half-title and XXXIX single-page, double-page and larger folding plates (numbered I-XXXIX in the table of plates, printed and assembled from 43 copper plates numbered [1]-[2], 3-43) depicting the rich allegorical and ornamental triumphal arches and festive decorations, paintings, statues, etc., all designed by Pieter Paul Rubens, all but one for the triumphal entry of the Spanish cardinal-infante Ferdinand into Antwerp in 1635. Further with 46 smaller engravings in the text, depicting coins and medals, and numerous woodcut decorated initials (4 series). Contemporary overlapping vellum, manuscript title on spine. [10], 189, [13] pp. plus 38 plates.
€ 29,500
One of the 200 deluxe copies reserved for the Antwerp magistrates, printed on heavy Venetian paper and including the equestrian portrait of Ferdinand, of a splendid monument of Baroque book illustration by Pieter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), the greatest Flemish artist of the 17th century: one of the most sumptuously illustrated books of the 17th century. It illustrates and describes the spectacular triumphal entry of Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria (1609-1641), Infante of Spain, into the city of Antwerp on 16 May 1635, after his victory at the Battle of Nördingen in 1634. The city was richly decorated for his triumphal procession with wooden arches, stages and paintings by Rubens. The present work, commissioned by the Antwerp city magistrates to commemorate the procession and festivities, records Ferdinands entry into Antwerp in great detail, in both words and images.
Arents notes two different Van Thulden states of the imprint and dates the present one with "veneunt exemplaria apud ..." before that with "venduntur apud", and the deluxe copies for the magistrates appear to more-or-less randomly show either imprint with either the 1641 or the 1642 colophon, so these may not distinguish different issues. Arents describes the present half-title (wholly lacking in some copies) as the first of three versions (beginning "Pompa introitus Ferdinandi", while the others begin "Pompa triumphalis Ferdinandi" and "Pompa triumphanalis introitus"), but again it is not clear that this has any significance for the issue.
The book, one of the most monumental publications of the 17th century, has a complicated publishing history occupying more than seven years, with publication delayed by the deaths of Rubens in 1640 and Ferdinand in 1641. The colophon of the present copy is dated 1641, but it includes plate 43, which the Antwerp magistrates commissioned from Van Thulden on 9 December 1641, so that it was certainly printed in 1642: Ferdinands magnificent triumphal chariot with numerous allegorical figures and an inset view of his victory at the Battle of Kallo (20 June 1638) after a design by Rubens.
Its large size and numerous copperplate illustrations made it one of the most expensive books produced in the 17th century, but the large plates also allowed Van Thulden to enhance the quality of the illustrations, depicting the arches and stages designed by Rubens for the Baroque festivities in great detail.
The present copy is one of the 200 deluxe copies reserved for the Antwerp city magistrates. These copies were printed on heavier Venetian paper, watermarked: anchor in a circle, topped by a star.
Binding with only a few spots and some scratches. With a few minor spots in the text and on the plates, some foxing on the back of plate 33, some leaves a bit crinkled (for example the half-title), with a few minor tears in some plates (mostly on the folds of the folding plates), not affecting the images, otherwise in very good condition. A beautiful deluxe copy of a splendid display of Rubenss magnificent illustrations of Ferdinand of Austrias triumphal entry into Antwerp in 1635. Atlas Van Stolk II, 1764; Prosper Arents, "Pompa introitus Ferdinandi: bijdrage tot de Rubensbibliografie", in: De Gulden Passer, 27 (1949), pp. 81-340; Carmen Arnold-Biucchi, "Coins and classical imagery in the time of Rubens: the stage of welcome in Caspar Gevartius's Pompa introitus Fernandi", in: Knaap & Putnam, Art, music, and spectacle in the age of Rubens: the Pompa introitus Fernandi (2013), pp. 189-215; Landwehr, Splendid ceremonies 99; Muller, Historieplaten 1727; STCV 12858454; Millard architectural collection, northern European books 38; Von Roeder-Raumbach & Evers 28.
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