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Panat Times

Volume 1, redone Dec. 2014


Volume 1


Orest's Pages

Patricia's Musings



Musical Rhetoric

Transcribed Sources


Pierre Gatulle on Gaston d'Orléans

Pierre Gatulle, Gaston d'Orléans: entre mécénat et impatience du pouvoir
(Paris: Champ Vallon, 2-12), pp. 437.

Despite repeated calls for interdisciplinarity, and numerous conferences whose purpose has been to bring scholars from different disciplines together to work on a common topic, it is rare indeed for the paradigms of each discipline to be transgressed by scholars not trained in them. Some disciplines are more porous than others, but along with the history of science, the histories of art, architecture, musicology and numismatics are particularly free-standing, and on occasion their scholars raise doubts about the value of anything by anyone who has happened to do some research or writing on a topic that they think belongs to them.

The centuries also have special disciplinary proprieties. Once, at a meeting of the Sixteenth-Century Society, Robert Kingdon came up to me with the greeting: "What are you doing here?" I hugged him and explained that I had been invited by Father Lekai to join a panel on rituals and political assassination.

*     *     *

How to be fair to such a rich and learned work?

Pierre Gatulle, hereafter known in this review as "PG," has been learnedly daring; and he is to be commended for it. As a student of Jean Duma, readers might expect PG to be primarily a social historian, with clientage, economic and political cultural dimensions. This description fits PG, but he has also worked up important questions in the history of art, engraving, architecture, ballet, literature, gardens, and the field that would become botany. He has pursued every aspect of Gaston d'Orléans' sponsorship of creative artistic activity, and has carefully framed all this in a biographical-historical narrative. The biographical-historical is all I know, and I find what PG has done to be not only sound but illuminating. The biographical thread is truly very interesting and successful.

When choosing a thesis subject, my dear late friend Georges Dethan started looking in the card file at the BnF for "Charles d'Orléans," and he found that a lot of work had been done. He flipped further and found very little under "Gaston d'Orléans"; so why not do his thesis for the Ecole des Chartes on the rebellious brother of Louis XIII? And thus a life of research, writing, and reflection began in this simple fashion. Georges would come to love Gaston as a true friend, as he did me, and I did him. But beyond the affection, studying Gaston became a portal into the seventeenth century. Thanks to the generosity of his widow, François, the thesis and his research notes are now deposited in the Bibliothèque de l'Institut. The thesis is grounded on all the sources in Paris (perhaps not the archives of the Ministry of War at Vincennes); and in the later biography all of this is supplemented by research in Florence and Turin, and in the Vatican Archives. Georges was more sympathetic to Gaston than PG is, or for that matter than I ever was. My lengthy online essay on Goulas and Montresor begins to suggest a totally self-preoccupied prince for whom opposition and rebellion became a way of pulling money and lands out of his kingly brother, and an office or two for clients. PG is sympathetic to the degree needed for understanding (Dilthey), but no more.

* * *

With a very sound biography that is based on all the sources at its core, PG proposes a series of event-situations that prompt the creation of princely representations. There is little about the childhood and adolescence of the "second" in line to the throne; thus there is the question of whether or not the principal individuals in the prince's circle were already in place during his childhood and adolescence. The issue is only interesting for a more general study of households. To be sure, key figures are noted, e.g., his bastard brothers; but Gaston, as characterized by Hérouard, might have strengthened the early assessments, particularly in relation to his mother. We so often read that Marie de Médicis favored her second son over the first, Louis the king; but in the letters exchanged between Marie and Gaston over the years, there is evidence of fundamental disagreement. Did Gaston ever complete that last stage of maturity when his mother could no longer screw the screws of maternal affection? PG is right to emphasize the representations because they lead directly into the more formal identities of princely patronage.

There is representation, and representation. Historiographically, the early movement centered on representation as phenomena not quite "real," that is, representations were thought of as something like, but not quite, emanations from a false consciousness. The hard social reality lay beneath them. Certainly not all in the Berkeley representation "moment" shared these views. I questioned Denis Crouzet's use of the concept, because he never really defined what he meant by it.

While remaining informal and clearly uncomfortable about the use of all concepts, PG defines them essentially as mental products that are generated out of both biographical and political cultural circumstances. The first congeries of identity-visual literary representations incarnate the very position of being "second" in line to the throne — centered on Gaston's marriage questions and his princely education. By then he was, of course, no longer second; he was first in line, 1610-1638, but the prevailing view continued to think of him as second in line.

There were works written specifically about and for the young Gaston, and writers thought that what was good for the prince was good for all young noblemen. That is the presupposition of mirrors of princes (there are exceptions). It would be interesting to read Rodolphe Le Maistre's La Santé du Prince, and Louis Machault's La Milice des Grecs et des Romains (did he read du Choul?) — very indicative of the education of a prince who might well become king, and not an alternative, non-royal "honnête" education.

The skirmishing over appointments to Gaston's household would begin very early, and would continue down to his death. There is a continuity here, grounded on the perception that the prince is easily susceptible to being influenced. This is so interesting, because Dethan and many other scholars stress personality here, rather than the long history of "difficult-to-manage" heirs apparent among the Bourbons and the Valois.

The precise study of the dedications addressed to Gaston goes beyond what Professor Leiner did a few years ago. Not just householders, but other writers pen praise and hopes, in verse and in prose. Marie de Gournay is among them. This literature of praise and pedagogical advice occurred for generation after generation of royal princes (and sons of Grands, such as the Montmorency and the Lorraines); and what was written for Gaston is probably exceptional only in the newer rhetoric that resulted from a deeper understanding of antique panegyric. It would be interesting to compare the works written for Louis XIII and Gaston to those written for the future king Louis XIV and his brother Philippe. These publications dedicated to Gaston were more numerous when his own household was being created, and when the king was gravely ill! (p. 60). In addition to celebratory dedications. some of these works contributed significantly to the religious and ethical issues of the day. All readers will appreciate PG's presentation of these interesting works, and also those works that actually became ballets. The degree of subtlety in the literary culture around the prince is well known; but the literary and other reverberations resulting from the proposal of a Gaston-Marie de Montpensier marriage are all excellent and original spade-work that helps understand the Chalais Conspiracy.

PG gives what is a familiar account of what is called the Chalais Conspiracy. It centers too much on Richelieu after 1624, and on his clients, and on Gaston and his clients. Marie de Médicis' influence on both is not really taken into account. Richelieu's clients in the later 1620s were still pretty much Marie's clients; and the Montpensier marriage (and Marie's activities and those of her clients), exacerbated the confrontation while at the same time establishing a relationship with the king that made Richelieu principal advisor on feuding within the royal family. It would require unity of purpose within the royal nuclear family, to carry forward Marie's strongly proposed marriage plan for her second son. (See J.-F. Dubost, Marie de Médicis [Paris: Payot, 2009] , pp. 692-703.) How does one say "point man" in French? Richelieu was just that, down into the blurring of protections unleashed by the victory at La Rochelle.

Lorraine-Guise clients still held key offices across the realm, but in the 1620s there was not the unified leadership that had characterized the 1560s-1589s; thus the Condé faction could really compete for offices and pensions after 1610. Those opposed to Queen Mother's marriage plans were not naive; it was just that the stakes were very high at a moment when no truly senior grandee (such as the Montmorency on occasion) could temper hotheads.

Charles IX's youngest brother, François (d. 1584), a sometime participant in rebellion against the Crown and leader of a tragically inept incursion into the Low Countries, seems to have interested Gaston. Perhaps fascinated all his life by failure, and lacking resolve, Gaston would have given his advisors a difficult task had they sought to keep François d'Anjou's fate from strengthening inclinations that Gaston already had aplenty. (See M.P. Holt, The Duke of Anjou and the Politique Struggle during the Wars of Religion [Cambridge: Cambridge U.P., 1986].) Chivalric tales and verse also seem to have interested Gaston. The taste for medieval letters does not surprise: in elite society there was a growing fascination with the heroic. Gaston's father is reputed to have read d'Urfé. Nathan Edelman, Attitudes of Seventeenth-Century France toward the Middle Ages (New York, Columbia Univ. Press, 1946) would have enriched this discussion. Sponsorship of Étienne Moulinier the composer, of David Dumonstier and other portraitists, etc., etc., suggests a cultural totality such as had not been witnessed at court since the days of Henry III. There is so much continuity in the career and cultural "program" pursued by the "prince charmant."

PG works his way through the shifting court factions by carefully noting who dances which role in the ballets. What an original and interesting approach! It complements what the late Sharon Kettering accomplished in Chapter 2 of her Power and Reputation at the Court of Louis XIII (Manchester: Univ. of Manchester Press, 2008), and her related articles. Just how did the king's and Gaston's artistic performances solidify or weaken the competing representations of the two brothers? The power to assign a role to a specific person may have been one of the "absolute" actions at a court divided by households and factions. Interestingly, the king might begin a performance by dancing the part of a quite common animal (cf. Keith Thomas!), and by the end of the ballet he might be dancing a far more noble role.

The second part of the book centers on Gaston's flights from the realm, his princely life at Blois, and the cultural milieu which he fostered. Without royal permission, members of the royal family, and the high-ranking courtiers in the Ancien Régime could not simply go off to their own estates or to a foreign country. Sometimes permission was granted routinely, at other times the monarch or the prince made it emphatic (with a smile) that the person's presence was essential. Excuse discourse flourished: M. le Duc had to return to his estates to "attend to his affairs"; a pregnant daughter wanted to have her mother at her side when she gave birth; etc. The poet-satirist Boileau-Despreaux had such a weak voice that he politely declined to go to court!

This tight supervision helps us understand the deep significance of a departure from court when permission had not been given. A potentially rebellious great noble might begin his fugue by not attending the royal levé, as he usually did; and then he might absent himself for a few days; and if he "lacked satisfaction" and did not get what he wanted (permission to marry, a governorship, a bishopric for a relative), he might then make a show of leaving the court. Advised by his householders, Gaston was a master at these actions. Leaving the realm and going to Lorraine or to the Low Countries was a still more overtly rebellious move; and in the case of Gaston, as heir to the throne, it would be accompanied by a pamphlet or manifeste justifying his actions. His kingly brother would reply, but all the issues at stake did not become public. Hélène Duccini's brilliant analysis of these exchanges (Faire voir, faire croire: l'Opinion publique sous Louis XIII [Paris: Champ Vallon, 2003]) suggests that while there was no perfectly democratizing public, there was in fact a public. These writings were not, of course, written by Gaston or Louis, but by their householders and ministers. In the 1630s the pamphlets written to justify Gaston's actions became less familiar, and much more social-economic and political. High taxes, urban riots, and generally catastrophic suffering on the part of the peasantry became a leitmotiv in Gaston's efforts to force his brother to change his policies, and disgrace Cardinal Richelieu. These pamphlets had a langue-de-bois quality. The language of brotherly love as stretched far beyond credulity. There were also private exchanges between the brothers; and in many cases Louis's replies were drafted by Richelieu.

PG refers to Richelieu as a favorite. He may have been one while supported and promoted by Marie. Her frequent gifts to him indicate not only attempts to control policy through him, but also an affective relation. Louis looked with suspicion on his mother's creature. Their relation became one of respect and esteem on the part of the king; and on Richelieu's side, there was a projection of a perfected image of the king that was occasionally mingled with quite carping criticism. The king's piety and scruples made it easy for Richelieu to address the model king, instead of the human Louis XIII. PG asserts that Richelieu had an "interest" in keeping alive the discord between the two royal brothers. I do not think this was culturally or historically imaginable for the Cardinal. His constant efforts, and his use of every possible means to reconcile them, were sincere; and his failures may well have been understood as just that, failures. It would be interesting to pull together exactly what Richelieu said and did in the relationship. Louis's jealousy vis-à-vis his brother grew apace, from the years in the nursery down to 1638. Louis's curbing of his brother's gloire on the battlefield became terribly humiliating for Gaston. If there was anything Louis was obsessive about, it was military commands. True, Richelieu might have erred in not advising Louis to be more generous; but even after Marie had fled the realm, her fidèles seemed to scare Louis — except for the Cardinal, whom he slowly came to trust owing to the strong correlation between what he said, repeatedly, and what he did. This strong link between words and actions was something a stutterer could understand profoundly. But Richelieu did not "fabriquer" a negative image of the prince. Gaston accomplished this all on his own.

The Parlement of Paris always expressed honor and obedience to the heir to the throne - a love that is at the heart of monarchy. Its leadership knew the history of attempts to engage rebels and princes to oppose the crown. Gaston would have a part in the Parlement by the time of the Fronde; but in the 1630s only two phantasmagoric views of some of Gaston's councilors are in play. President or not, Le Coigneux (and his disgraced Brûlart relations) would never carry much weight in the Grand'chambre. I seem to remember a marriage between a widow Galland and a Le Coigneux son that weakened his position, owing to the large dowry (see BnF, ms. fr. 10273, fol. 209). So, Gaston is left to try to maneuver his bastard brothers and the Lorraines, and to hope for an honorable welcome north of the border. With his mother out of the realm, he lost the influence of her clients. The rude gestures regarding Richelieu on the part of Gaston's householders, which Gaston apparently did not stop (p. 115), suggest a prolonged male adolescence in the whole group.

The ensemble of contestatory and rebellious activities that ended in the execution of Chalais and the disgrace of Tronson, would turn into a storm of titles and money that rained down on Gaston, now duc d'Anjou. If one could compare Louis's treatment of his brother with the how other royal princes were treated by their kingly brothers, the titles and money would, I suspect, turn out to be just about the norm, given changes in coinage and the fact that some lands no longer accompanied a given title. Where did it all go?

PG lays out Gaston's expenditures as mécène and art collector. Gaston borrowed to pay for his big purchase of Italian artifacts and paintings; so it had to be the household itself that kept the prince on the brink of ruin. If one added up what the intimate householders received as gages, this would only come to 20,000 livres per year. To sustain his rank, Gaston needed a luxury-loving household, although his royal brother probably did not believe this. Louis would acquire a reputation for being tight-fisted.

In the Lorraine marriage, Gaston received 100,000 not-so-solid Lorraine livres; this went for paying troops for his 1632 "invasion" of France at the head of 5,000 troops. What an immense miscalculation! Puylaurens had assured him that all of Richelieu's enemies would join him. The Cardinal really believed in exemplary punishment. Montmorency-Bouteville and Chalais may have concentrated the minds of the noblesse. Gaston rode with some 500 nobles through the terrible landscapes of Auvergne (Chaudes-Aigues in the Aubrac!); finding city gates closed to him, he headed for Villeneuve d'Aveyron, while the duc of Montmorency redid his plans to support him. The battle at Castelnaudary could not but be a humiliating defeat for Gaston.

The titles, money and marriage that Puylaurens had received boggles the mind. Had he crossed the Cardinal on minor issues, he might have survived; but his dreams of much greater power for Gaston and himself made him vulnerable and led to his disgrace. In the Testament politique Richelieu sums up several attempts to "buy" fidelity toward Louis from Gaston's councilors. They involved huge amounts of money; all of them failed.

PG's excellent account of the further attempts to buy Gaston's neutrality, if not loyalty, center on living in his appanage, and his patronage of François Mansart in building at Blois. This is all very interesting, but it ends so sadly. By 1638 Gaston ceased supporting the construction; thus he may never really have lived in the wing of the château that bears his name -- and which lacked flooring and a roof! Perhaps the prince and the architect did not get along well. President de Maisons learned the hard, expensive way about respecting the autonomy of a great architect. Some of what became Maisons-Laffitte had to be torn down and rebuilt because Mansart did not like the first effort that he himself had made!

PG is right to bring his readers all the way to current work on the château, because it shows Mansart's original intent. Clockmakers in Blois certainly benefitted from the heightened activity, and some became householders for Gaston.

The discussion of Gaston's protégés in the new French Academy is subtle in that it avoids all mechanical, too simple, who-belongs-to-whom interpretations. All members would have expressed love and devotion to Gaston, heir apparent until 1638, and would have disregarded his fugues. Whenever one studies dedications, one finds writers playing many sides simultaneously. Richelieu supported Chapelain, but the poet "belonged" to Longueville for a long time.

The case of Tristan l'Hermite's many years as a fidèle of Gaston, illustrates what Roland Mousnier tired to suggest in his work of the 1960s on clientage. In addition to self-interest (money, influence, honor), there was a psychological dimension. Mousnier had noticed that some protégés stayed with their protectors long after it was no longer their financial or social interest to do so. Tristan and his family did not seem to receive much reward for their fidelity. The poet would finally shift away from Gaston. I love the almost gossipy interconnectedness which PG captures on pp. 188-189. So much could be added. Puisieux was Bassompierre's beloved friend, a relationship far deeper than mere interest. To the La Châtre-Puylaurens self-interest could be added the tragic de Thou, and of course Montrésor, through the Batarnay. The term proche is so appropriate for many of these relations. Anyone who might think that marriage alliances and cousinships did not count all that much; let them look at the list of witnesses who signed a handful of marriage contracts! (Oh, I should have read ahead: PG notes the La Châtre-de Thou marriage on p. 195.)

All this comes together, to transcend concepts by means of facts; and it transcends the social to become biographical when Nicolas Goulas hotly criticizes Montrésor for his portrait of Gaston. The Goulas brothers loved Gaston. Montrésor kept trying to get the prince to undertake a rebellion against his brother that was worthy of his rank.  Goulas accuses Montrésor of taking advantage of the prince's irresolution. Montrésor was, in effect, self-seeking, and he did not advise what was best in the prince's interest (p. 197). PG is correct in concluding that Goulas does not condemn relations at court or friendships: he gives Gaston advice that turns out not to be in accord with the prince's interest. Goulas is honest to the point of confessing his own failure to "manage" the prince. Tout est là! PG's judgment about the relation between Gaston and Chavigny is also 100% correct (p 203). Mazarin would bump Chavigny out of the way after the Day of the Barricades, scarcely without thinking; but this did not mean that the secretary of state lacked political talent. He managed a relation between Richelieu and Gaston for several years without being disgraced: in other words, Chavigny possessed skills.

Jean Desmarets de Saint-Sorlin plays only a cameo appearance in this narrative of near rivalry between Gaston and Richelieu over theatrical productions; but I miss a reference to Gaston Hall's fine book on Desmarets.

The fine-tuned readings of the engravings of the royals by Egmont/Poilly (and successors), with either Richelieu or Gaston in the avant-scène are exemplary and should be read by all who seek to grasp the relations between political power and the theater in the seventeenth century. PG interprets the Bosse, Les Forces réunies de la France, ca. 1630 (pp. 111f) as depicting Louis and Gaston as equals, on horseback before an assembled French army. They are not equal: the king holds a bâton de commandement in his right hand, but Gaston's right hand is empty. This bâton also appears on the large plate of the siege of Saint-Martin by Callot et al. (Nancy, catalog, 1992, number 485), and it is still clearer in the Callot drawing, no. 33, where Richelieu appears between the two brothers (Richelieu, Art and Power, ed. H.T. Goldfarb [Montreal, 2002]). There, Gaston holds what looks like the short whip we call a "swagger stick" and that once was a must accoutrement for officers in the British army (see plate no. 30). Having the Cardinal's image erased from the plate, as Gaston seems to have done, is yet another sign of his arrested development. Neither the king nor his brother could represent themselves in that most aristocratic manner, as being a généreux. Needless to say, the Cardinal included a portrait of Gaston in his Galerie des Hommes illustres: it hung between him (what arrogance!) and Anne of Austria, and just opposite Suger.

* * *

In Part III the truly interesting Gaston d'Orléans appears, first as a collector, then as a gardener, and finally as patron of the great project: the velins that marked a major cultural-scientific achievement in the seventeenth century. Yes, we may think of the Rubens series commissioned by his mother, or the Val de Grâce commissioned by his sister-in-law, or the other great façade of the Louvre commissioned by his nephew as being more visible and more "public," and therefore more important; but the velins constituted a synthesis of nature and beauty like nothing else in the seventeenth century.

PG briefly and learnedly characterizes the collector. The idea that there must be some relationship between collecting and exile or political failure, must, of course, be rejected. In Gaston's case his most intense years of political engagement, the 1640s, were also years when he worked out his unique expression of the self, through collecting, gardening and artistic patronage. PG does not ask whether Gaston ever really enjoyed being in large crowds. He performed his duties at court, etc.; but like his kingly brother, he did not seem to enjoy being on display all the time, the way his father had and as his nephew would. Is there evidence of great two-or-three-day fêtes at Blois, hosted by Gaston?

The more private prince, curbed by a jealous brother from going to war (there were brief but significant exceptions), turned to collecting, to repairing Chambord, and to the patronage of gardeners and artists. Were big fêtes held at the Luxembourg after he inherited it? The bills for a major cargo of antique sculptures and recent paintings from Italy was charged to a banker in Lyon. Was it ever paid? PG summarizes Gaston's wealth, which was enormous, even though the Frondes may have reduced his annual income. But did lack of funds prompt him to collect relatively inexpensive items? Medals, books (even those with fine bindings), gardens, and the velins did not place Gaston very high among the princely European collectors of his day. Was there something of an egalitarian impulse among seventeenth-century collectors? Jonathan Brown's Kings and Connoisseurs (New Haven: Yale U.P., 1995) contains some brilliant reflections on the increased prestige of collecting paintings — in some instances more prestigious than tapestries, unless provenance played a role. Mazarin's sneaky way of getting the great Maximilian tapestries (now in the Louvre) away from the duke of Guise suggests a world that was almost unfamiliar to Gaston. Yet Brown gives credit (p. 206) to Gaston for having broadened the range of the Sun King's collection, by willing him treasures of medals, shells, books, and the velins.

PG refers to the royal decree accepting the gift as emanating from Louis XIV; but the text actually refers to the Crown, not the king. The difference may be that it was a gift to the Crown — as a domain — rather than to the person of Louis XIV (p. 223). The difference may have been quite significant, given the inalienability of the domain. Put crudely, the Sun King might borrow and use it as collateral; but he could not sell it? In general, Gaston's program in collecting also seems quite Italianate, not unlike his Medici relatives; but as far as we know, Gaston did not make a speciality of portraits of artists, as his Medici cousin, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, did.

I do not mean to suggest that PG ought to have done more than he did; but for other readers, Alice Stroup's A Company of Scientists (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1990) traces the relations between the aesthetic and the natural-philosophical dimensions of what was just then becoming the science of botany. Elizabeth Hyde's Cultivated Power, Flowers, Culture and Politics (Philadelphia: Univ. of Penn. Press, 2005) is a wonderful book on flowers that adds a splendid context for Gaston's projects.

What a cast of characters frequented Gaston's court! Some are well known; others are quite obscure. The dictionary that PG provides will be very useful for further research. Obviously, it could be more complete. Jacques Dalibert, sometime marriage broker in Gaston's household and pioneer in opera production in Rome, is not included. The pages on Saint-Aignan are just right, but I suggest that the term "ascension sociale" does not capture what he was after. More protector than author (not unlike Montausier), Saint-Aignan would visit writers, painters and culture brokers (e.g., Chapelain), because he was sure that his presence brought honor and pleasure to his hosts. He saw culture as something above rank, although no one had a better sense of the harsher aspects of competing for favor and pensions. He lived the life that the chevalier de Méré wrote about.
Of the numerous portraits of Gaston reproduced in the book, Vaillant's (ca. 1650), a pastel, is the most revealing of the quick mind and eye of the prince. Gaston wrote letters in a whimsical "burlesque" pig-French (not pig-Latin) and clearly enjoyed the intimacy that a "little language" can foster. I think Dethan owned one of these letters. if so, it is now in the collections of the Bibliothèque de l'Institut, along with many other never-edited letters from the seventeenth century.

On page 342, PG says just about everything that is essential knowledge about Gaston during the Fronde des princes. Gaston let so many supporters down! His failed role in fostering a meeting of the Estates General, particularly of the second estate, ought to be mentioned.

After 1652 did Gaston spend more time at Limours or at Blois? He seems to have really liked Limours, yet thus far so little has been found about his life there.

The pages on Gaston's gifts to various religious institutions will no doubt be expanded in a subsequent edition. Certainly, Gaston must have given more than 1000 livres to his Jesuit neighbors in Blois. His mother was very good at laying the first stones of convents and churches, and then not giving much financial support. If I recall correctly, he gave Saint-Gervais in Paris what would become the organ of the Couperins.

The one figure whom PG almost totally fails to capture was the very famous Armand-Jean (note who his godfather was!) Bouthillier, abbot of la Trappe. An Oratorian, to be sure, but a major spiritual voice in the later part of the century. A.J. Krailsheimer's work on him (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1974) sheds light on so many people in Gaston's world. One example is Nicolas Pinette, Gaston's trésorier, who received only mention by PG but whose remarkable career as a soldier, a dévot, the father of a "natural" son who was legitimated by the Parlement, and the builder of a house for religieuses in Paris.

Rancé's account of Gaston's death is typical.

* * *

Pedantry may, just may be, helpful!

In 1912 Eugène Griselle published most, if not all the Maisons that he had found prior to that year. Sometimes the lists are bound together, each with its title page. Sometimes they have been preserved in the form of little bound books or loose pamphlets. PG cites "the Etat de la Maison du Roi Louis XIII (Paris, 1912)," but he does not mention the état for Gaston's household, published later that same year. PG relies, as he should, on the original manuscript (BnF, Clairambault, 379). It is interesting to note that as early as 1627 Gaston had a peintre et garde-tableaux in his household, "Julio" Donabella (see PG, pp. 32ff.) The creator of the Index in PG's book omitted numerous individuals, and he did not include all the page references for the people who are included. Authors

* * *

I have learned so much from reading this well researched, original and mature work. The biographical thread worked out very well; but sometimes I wished for an engagement on a more conceptual level. Works about patronage are cited in the bibliography, but thematic affinities and differences are not included. A general history of cultural patronages remains far in the distance.

Rereading the book might yield understanding of coherent analytical vocabulary on clientage. I like the use of the word proche, and the convincing thought about factions and parties (p. 118); but on occasion it seemed that PG used such concepts as "client," fidèle and favori almost interchangeably.

As I prepare to put down my pen, the image of a clef de voûte in a chapel in the Parisian church of Saint-Eustache comes to mind. Am I certain that it shows Gaston's arms? They could be his brother's. There is little doubt about who paid for the chapel with a clef de voûte bearing arms with three red chevrons and a cardinal's hat, just so close by.


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