Ordre des villes d’ostage et places de seureté Retirées par force ou autrement sur ceux de la religion prét[endue] Réf[ormée] par le Roy Louys le Juste ez années 1620.21 et 22. Anonymous woodcut [circa 1623] on heavy laid paper (24.5 x 34.4 cm); copy without margins.
Rare original engraving drawn up following the Treaty of Montpellier signed on 18 October 1622 between Louis XIII and the Duke of Rohan, leader of the Huguenot forces, to put an end to the great revolt in Languedoc; the treaty withdrew the Protestants’ places of safety or granted them on a precarious basis. La Rochelle and Montauban were the only places of safety left. They had to raze the fortifications of their other towns. This peace lasted only two years.
Louis XIII is depicted armed as a conquering Caesar (“Veni Vidi Vici”), whose horse tramples over Huguenot military might and the reformed religion with its Gorgon head and holding a bat in one hand and a knot of snakes in the other.
The legend “Qod volui, obtinui, semper ratione patente: / Nam Iniusti quidquam nec probo nec cupio“. [What I wanted, I obtained, always with reason: / For I neither approve nor desire anything unjust] affirms the good right of Louis the Just. He is depicted at the centre of 97 conquered Huguenot towns represented in medallions, starting with Pau, the birthplace of his father Henri IV and capital of Béarn, where the free exercise of Catholic worship by Louis XIII sparked off the Huguenot uprising, and ending with Privas, a last medallion left blank, probably foreshadowing future conquests if the treaty was not respected. Some towns are depicted during their conquest: destroyed (such as Clairac), besieged (such as Saint-Jean d’Angely) or burnt and pillaged (such as Montravel).
Some discreet foxing; traces of a strip of paper formerly glued to the back, in the margin of one side.
Good condition. A rare document.