I went to see the Count de Liancourt’s Palace in the Rue de Seine, which is well built. Toward his study and bedchamber joins a little garden, which, though very narrow, by the addition of a well-painted perspective, is to appearance greatly enlarged; to this there is another part, supported by arches in which runs a stream of water, rising in the aviary, out of a statue, and seeming to flow for some miles, by being artificially continued in the painting, when it sinks down at the wall. It is a very agreeable deceit.

View and Perspective of the Hôtel de Liancourt by Jean Marot. Date unknown.

Location of Hôtel de Liancourt (Palace of Count of Liancourt) on 1705 Plan of Paris. The Louvre is to the north.

At the end of this garden is a little theater, made to change with divers pretty scenes, and the stage so ordered, with figures of men and women painted on light boards, and cut out, and, by a person who stands underneath, made to act as if they were speaking, by guiding them, and reciting words in different tones, as the parts require1. We were led into a round cabinet, where was a neat invention for reflecting lights, by lining divers sconces with thin shining plates of gilded copper.

Coronation of the Virgin by Paolo Veronese. 1555.

In one of the rooms of state was an excellent painting of Poussin, being a Satyr kneeling; over the chimney, the Coronation of the Virgin, by Paulo Veronese; another Madonna over the door, and that of Joseph, by Cigali; in the Hall, a Cavaliero di Malta, attended by his page, said to be of Michael Angelo2 ; the Rape of Proserpine, with a very large landscape of Correggio. In the next room are some paintings of Primaticcio, especially the Helena, the naked Lady brought before Alexander, well painted, and a Ceres. In the bedchamber a picture of the Cardinal de Liancourt3  , of Raphael, rarely colored.

Portrait of Alof de Wignacourt and his Page by Caravaggio. Circa 1608. Described by Evelyn as  “a Cavaliero di Malta, attended by his page”

In the cabinet are divers pieces of Bassano, two of Polemburg, four of Paulo Brill, the skies a little too blue. A Madonna of Nicholao, excellently painted on a stone; a Judith of Mantegna; three women of Jeronimo; one of Stenwick; a Madonna after Titian, and a Magdalen of the same hand, as the Count esteems it: two small pieces of Paulo Veronese, being the Martyrdoms of St. Justina and St. Catherine; a Madonna of Lucas Van Leyden, sent him from our King4; six more of old Bassano; two excellent drawings of Albert; a Magdalen of Leonardo da Vinci; four of Paulo; a very rare Madonna of Titian, given him also by our King; the Ecce Homo5 ., shut up in a frame of velvet, for the life and accurate finishing exceeding all description. Some curious agates, and a chaplet6 of admirable invention, the intaglios7 being all on fruit stones. The Count was so exceeding civil, that he would needs make his lady go out of her dressing room, that he might show us the curiosities and pictures in it.

“Puerto con castillo” by Paul Bril. 1601. Evelyn describes a Paul Bril painting as having “skies a little too blue”

We went thence to visit one Monsieur Perishot, one of the greatest virtuosos in France, for his collection of pictures, agates, medals, and flowers, especially tulips and anemonies. The chiefest of his paintings was a Sebastian, of Titian.

From him we went to Monsieur Frene’s, who showed us many rare drawings, a Rape of Helen in black chalk; many excellent things of Sneiders8, all naked; some of Julio and Michael Angelo; a Madonna of Passignano9 ; some things of Parmensis10 , and other masters.


  1. This, no doubt, was one of those “jeux de marionnettes,” (Marionette Play) of which full details are to be found in the treatise of M. Charles Magnin, 2nd ed. 1862.  –AD 

  2. “Portrait of Alof de Wignacourt and his page” by Michelangelo da Caravaggio – see article 94 of “The Age of Caravaggio”  By Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  

  3. There is a line of thought that this may be a painting of the Cardinal de Lenoncourt -GS 

  4. “Liancourt was in London at the time [1630] as the French Ambassador extraordinary to mark the birth of Prince Charles and cemented his relations with the English court by a series of  gifts, exchanges and sales.  The most important gift was a painting of John the Baptist by Leonardo de Vinci for which the duke received in return a Madonna by Titian that had belonged to John Donne. He also gave the king some novel pictures “in the manner as the doe make turkey carpets worke” (that is, woven images with a nap), and he sold him several works. Source “Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi” by Keith Christiansen, Judith Walker Mann, Orazio Gentileschi, Artemisia Gentileschi -GS 

  5. Latin for “Behold the man” – in art usually shows Pilate and Christ, the mocking crowd and parts of the city of Jerusalem -GS 

  6. A decorative band or wreath worn on the head, often floral -GS 

  7. Engravings -GS 

  8. I think this is Frans Snyders – a Flemish painter who lived from 1579 – 1657 -GS 

  9. Probably Domenico Passignano -GS 

  10. Probably Jacopo Caraglio also known as Jacobus Parmensis -GS