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Privilege and Property

 | 
Ronan Deazley
, 
Martin Kretschmer
, 
Lionel Bently

10. Maps, Views and Ornament: Visualising Property in Art and Law. The Case of Pre-modern France

Katie Scott

Texte intégral

  • 1 My warm thanks to Lionel Bently and Ronan Deazley for their improvements to both the content and p (...)

1Note portant sur l’auteur1

  • 2 See Marianne Grivel, Le Commerce de l’estampe à Paris au xviie siècle (Geneva: Droz, 1986), pp. 83 (...)
  • 3 Jean de La Fontaine, ’Conte du Tableau’, in Contes et Nouvelles (1664) quoted from Rensselaer W. L (...)

2In art, in printed images particularly, privilege, or the legal precursor of copyright in French law, derived originally from that pertaining to published texts; indeed, from the mid-seventeenth century, intaglio printmaking having no corporate body of its own, privilege in prints was administered by the Paris Corporation of booksellers, publishers and printers.2 Consequently, it is habitually treated as a derivative instance of the law, as a poor relation in an expanding family of intellectual property rights. Painting, by this account, followed poetry not only as the misprision of Horace’s epigrammatical phrase suggested, in mode and function, but also, when mechanically reproduced, by legal act. By the eighteenth century, however, ut pictura, poesis, that analogy by force of which the art theory of the sixteenth century discovered its inaugural voice, was visibly becoming an ill-fitting frame, and long before the publication of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s Laokoon (1766) it was widely recognised that, to quote Jean de La Fontaine, ’Les mots et les couleurs ne sont choses pareilles / Ni les yeux ne sont les oreilles’ (Words and colours are not similar things / Nor are eyes ears),3 or, to put it more prosaically, that disparity, as much as resemblance, marks the internal composition of the sphere of the aesthetic.

  • 4 Claude Marin Saugrain, Code de la librairie et imprimerie de Paris ou conférence du réglement arrê (...)
  • 5 On the iconography and ideology of the eye of the law see most fully and recently Michael Stolleis (...)

3The case advanced here is that vision and visual art in fact made a telling contribution to the formulation of the legal forerunner of modern copyright; Claude Marin Saugrain, the first codifier of the laws of the Paris book trade, asserts, after-all, that law should forever be in sight, ’sous les yeux’.4 The eye of the law invoked is not only and explicitly the eye of the subject (in this case, the several members of the Booksellers’ Corporation) who is brought by sight to knowledge of the law and thereafter conforms to its decrees, but also, and metaphorically, an eye that invigilates and disciplines, and by that seemingly absolute power to do so constitutes the law as given and immutable.5 By contrast, and supposing rather that the law, and the concepts that determine it, is fabricated, fabricated moreover by the accumulated involvement of a host of different worlds, it is argued below that sight and the visual played a significant part in the very constitution and subsequent evolution of privilege.

  • 6 Especially the sociology of science; see: Susan Leigh Star and James R. Griesemer, ’Institutional (...)

4Prompted by developments in sociological theory,6 it is suggested that ’property’, the notion upon which all regimes of copyright necessarily stand, is best viewed as a ’boundary object’, that is a concept or idea that balances at the intersection of a number of different discourses – in this instance, those of law, economics, politics, and aesthetics – that is, an ’object’ at once both weak enough to bend to local discursive requirements and strong enough to keep recognisable fit and general rhetorical purpose across those disparate domains. Locally signifying contract (law), commodity (economics), source of authority (politics), figure or material stuff (aesthetics) and generally denoting belonging, ’property’ in early modern thought by this account facilitated cooperation in the construction of a regime of legal practice without a presupposition of consensus having to be assumed. In the context of such collective construction of legal knowledge, it is not, however, what Painting claimed for herself, not her vaunted ambition to the autonomy or self-possession of the literary, made through deployment of such key figures of humanist rhetoric as idea, imagination, invention, that is at issue but rather what she disavowed: her servile, specula imitation, her apparent concreteness and materiality; that, in short, which made her works irredeemably spatial and tangible. To draw out the paradox more clearly, if Painting acceded to the protection of privilege by virtue of her liberal status, her likeness to Poetry, she made her particular contribution to law via her so-called mechanical facture, her ’literal’ translations of properties in and of the natural world. Painting’s ’truth’, it is argued, as instanced in maps and views of town and country, effected a shift in the discursive function of property in privilege from metaphor to model, and provided an epistemological resource for negotiating the realignment of legal prerogatives and economic interests in the run up to capitalism.

  • 7 Bruno Latour, Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society (Cambridge (...)
  • 8 OED, ad. voc. ’reification’.
  • 9 Louis d’Héricourt, ’Mémoire en forme de requête à M. le Garde des Sceaux rédigé par M. Louis D’Hér (...)
  • 10 See Raymond Birn, ’The Profit of Ideas. Privilèges en librairie in Eighteenth-century France’, Eig (...)

5The first part of this essay therefore provides an account of the ’possessive’ depiction of urban and landed property in seventeenth and early eighteenth century France and draws attention to the ornamental strategies of framing, signing and posting notices by which all manner of images were brought potentially under an order of ownership. In attending in such detail to how notions of property intersected, overlapped, and worked to make and remake law, questions about interests are momentarily set aside. The ’stabilisation’ of new definitions, of newly coined ’facts’, to use Bruno Latour’s terminology, is, however, always to the advantage of someone, or some group.7 Thus, having described a phenomenon of reification in all but name, that is to say, ’the mental conversion of an abstract concept’, the image, ’into a thing’8 or object-in-law, the second, more speculative part considers whether reification in a specifically Marxist sense, as an ideological phenomenon, can be said to have occurred when, in the early eighteenth century, under threat of repeal, the Paris Booksellers articulated anew the basis of their exclusive privileges by substituting arguments about natural right for their former recognition of royal prerogative. The case was advanced in a memorandum addressed in 1725 by Louis d’Héricourt, the Booksellers’ lawyer, to Fleuriau d’Armenonville, the Keeper of the Seals and the authority with ultimate responsibility for the regime of temporary monopolies called privilege that preceded modern copyright.9 It caused such offence that the syndics of the Corporation in whose name it was written were publicly rebuked and its printer forced to flee.10 The visual, it will be suggested, contributed significantly to the memorandum’s offensiveness by a vivid figurative language, informed by the theory and the practice of imitation, as much as by John Locke’s labour theory of property, and by a trompe l’œil naturalisation of property relations that in the interest of profit all but erased the constitutive power of the king.

*****

  • 11 See Giles Barber, ’French Royal Decrees Concerning the Book Trade, 1700-1789’, Australian Journal (...)
  • 12 Pre-modern privilege varied in scope: the privilège local limited protection to within one specifi (...)
  • 13 Michel Félibien, Histoire de la ville de Paris, expanded and edited by Guy-Alexis Lobineau, 5 vols (...)
  • 14 Archives nationals, X1A/8646 f. 201 quoted in extract in Hillary Ballon, The Paris of Henry IV. Ar (...)
  • 15 See ’Eloy d’Amerval’s Privilege (1507)’, Primary Sources. On the early history of copyrights in Fr (...)

6By coincidence, the beginning of Louis XV’s reign saw the first formulation of a Code de la librairie (1723), published in 1744 as a pocket-book compendium of the laws and rights of the Paris Corporation of booksellers, publishers and printers, including the privilèges en librairie or copy-privilege,11 and the publication of Michel Félibien’s Histoire de la ville de Paris (1725), one of a clutch of illustrated folio publications on the physical and social geography of the capital to appear in the first decades of the eighteenth century. It is a coincidence exploited here as happy because it serves usefully as a reminder that privilege, or the pre-modern manifestation of copyright, was a local and a bourgeois property regime.12 A further, historically more legitimate connection between the two lies in the pages of the third volume of Félibien’s Histoire, among the ’pièces justificatives’, or historical proofs, where an abbreviated transcription is given of one of the earliest so-called privilèges in images, the 1608 copy-privilege for François Quesnel’s Map of Paris (1609; figure 1),13 granted by the Chancellerie14 almost exactly a century after those first secured in texts.15

Fig. 1. Pierre Vallet after François Quesnel, Map of Paris, engraving, 1609 (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris).

  • 16 The book’s full title is as follows, La totale et vraye description de to les passaiges, lieux, de (...)
  • 17 See Marianne Grivel, ’Les graveurs en France au xvie siècle’, in La Gravure française à la Renaiss (...)
  • 18 The one surviving copy of the map is in the Département des cartes et plans at the Bibliothèque na (...)

7Up until the early seventeenth century, printed images, which had mostly taken the form of illustrations, such as the pull-out map in Jacques Signot’s La totale et vraye description des Gaules es Ytalies (1515), and were for the most part published by booksellers, had found a measure of legal sanctuary in the shelter of privileges in books.16 It was only with the changing political and economic climate of the turn of the century – with the accession of Henri IV, the end of the Wars of Religion, the rapid development of trade and industry in the ensuing peace, of the last of which the ’re-invention’ of intaglio technologies in France was a particular manifestation17 – that printmaking expanded sufficiently to constitute a trade in its own right, and that single, sheet prints began to make an appearance, prints requiring their own means of protection from piracy. Quesnel’s map was a highly ambitious print of this kind, conceived on the scale of a mural, engraved on twelve separate copper plates, the impression of which, when joined together created an image measuring some five square feet.18 Though the hagiographic register of the map is undeniable, Henri IV, whose monuments and urban projects the map celebrates, was not, in fact, its sponsor. According to the copy-privilege, the author, Quesnel, appears to have undertaken the project as a speculation and expected to find in the privilège a measure of security for the considerable investment of time, effort and capital he had made in the venture.

  • 19 ’D’Amerval’s privilege (1507)’, Primary Sources.

8In comparison to the copy-privilege of 1507 (the first of its kind in France) for Eloy d’Amerval’s Diablerie, described only briefly in the letters patent licensing the monopoly as a ’beau livre’19 containing pleasant and profitable things on the life-style of each estate, Quesnel’s copy-privilege waxed expansively. Following the king’s salutation to his privy councillors in whose office privilege was granted and an introduction to the licensee, François Quesnel (1543-1616), no cartographer but a ’master painter in Paris [...] who has devoted himself to painting from his earliest youth as much on account of the excellence of that art which belongs to the liberal sciences as for it having been cherished by those Kings our predecessors and by us’, the letters patent go on to note the nature of the original, a representation on a flat surface, ’en platte painture’, of ’our good town and city of Paris’ which the artist had:

  • 20 Ballon, p. 346, n. 53.

[P]ortrayed (faire veoir) completely differently (tout autrement) and with more gracefulness and truth than we have seen (veue) before, especially at this time when under the happy success of our reign, she has in a sense been all newly rebuilt and transformed into one of the most superb cities that one has ever seen to which task (labeur) the said Quesnel has brought time (continuation) and effort (industrie) such that there is not a single place in the said City which is not depicted with all its measurements and geometrical dimensions [...]20

9To all this, the letters add by recording the author’s supplementary labour of having his painted depiction reproduced ’in woodcut or on copper’.

  • 21 Carol Rose, Property and Persuasion. Essays on the History, Theory and Rhetoric of Ownership (Oxfo (...)
  • 22 See also: Jack Goody, Death, Property and Ancestors (London: Tavistock Publications, 1962), pp. 28 (...)
  • 23 See two important articles by Alain Pottage, ’The Measure of the Land’, The Modern Law Review, 57 (...)
  • 24 I am grateful to Denis Ribouillou for the reference to François de Dainville, ’Les cartes et conte (...)
  • 25 Rose, pp. 275-8.

10Rather than attend to ’originality’ (’tout autrement’) and ’labour’ (’labeur’, ’continuation’, ’industrie’), twin values that the copy-privilege, and in its wake, modern scholarship, deem especially determining in the history of emergent copyright, I want rather to bring into focus the less immediately striking quality of sight, the play of the verbs voir and faire voir and the related scattering of possessives that subtend the claim to copy-privilege. Carol Rose has discussed the importance of vision in arguments over ’real’ property claims at some length.21 She notes the habitual, almost obsessive, recourse to objects of perception in referring to property, not-withstanding the fact that property is actually a relation between people and not one between persons and things.22 Although it will not do to over-state the pre-modern case, since compelling arguments existed for resisting the encroachment of visual representation as proof of identity in property questions,23 maps did, nevertheless, become a common sight in French law courts from the fifteenth century; they provided, as François de Dainville convincingly shows, an increasingly favoured source of evidence in legal cases concerned with landed property for which being able to see the disputed object was acknowledged as facilitating judicious rulings on matters of boundaries and rights.24 It is, as Rose explains, precisely because the relation between litigants – in the present case, between the ’author’of the map, Quesnel, and those nameless ’others’ who may wish to avail themselves of his property by means of unauthorised copies – is difficult ’to envision’, that representation is called to the rescue, so to speak, to substitute things, maps, for the rights in question.25

  • 26 On the trope of true likeness in early modern city maps, see Lucia Nuti, ’The Perspective Plan in (...)

11In the text of Quesnel’s privilège sight actually serves many purposes and has multiple meanings: it is the site of representation (the view of Paris), the means by which it is rendered by use of geometry and perspective, the public of spectators for whom the map is intended and the visible mark of the painter’s honour and investment to be defended. But its primary importance in making vivid and tangible the parameters or scope of the copy-privilege is undeniable. Moreover, the type of vision is specified; the map is realistic, a ’true’ likeness, so much so indeed that what is described in the text of the copy-privilege is not so much the map, as the object of its mapping: Paris.26 The instability of the text, the tendency of description to slip back and forth between ’graceful’ sign and ’superb’ referent, ’truthful’ image and ’newly rebuilt’ object, in short between the map and Paris, results in an involuntary exchange of attributes such that Henri’s capital over which he exercises a possessive dominion (’notre bonne ville et citté’) seems to lend property to the author of its representation, at the same time that conversely, the uniquely creative act of the map-maker folds back into the collective achievement of the reign’s urbanisation projects, attributing them to the single shaping hand of the king. So to note the encomiastic register of the text is to recognise the part played by politics in the projection of the legal idea of intellectual property as a thing justified by service.

  • 27 Rose, pp. 267-9.
  • 28 See Henri Sauval, Histoire et recherches des antiquités de la ville de Paris, 3 vols, ed. by Antho (...)

12Carol Rose speculates that the nature and terms of the property relation in any given society may in some instances be informed by the physical geography of the world out there, public and private access to particular parts of which it serves to regulate. She has in mind the ’forceful and imperious’ landscapes of Hawaii and Chicago;27 we would be thinking here about the equally powerful and imposing forms of the newly Bourbon capital. Eleven bridges, four squares, nineteen gates, twelve fauxbourgs and over one thousand streets are listed by Henri Sauval in evidence of the unprecedented scale of the ’new Rome’ to rise-up by the mid century, a scale more powerfully registered, it seems, by the quantity of private property than by the beauty of the public monuments: from the top of the tour Saint Jacques in the immediate neighbourhood of the Grand Châtelet, the capital’s principle criminal and civil court, sight was stunned by the monotony of ’this appalling (épouvantable) mass of six, seven and eight storey houses, one pressed up against the next, which multiply this great city as many times’.28

  • 29 See Property. Mainstream and Critical Positions, ed. by C.B. Macpherson (Oxford: Blackwell, 1978), (...)
  • 30 On property in offices see, among others: David Parker, ’Sovereignty, Absolutism and the Function (...)
  • 31 Pierre Richelet, Dictionnaire françois (Geneva: J.-H Widerhold, 1680) ad. voc. ’propriété’.
  • 32 Pottage, ’The Measure of the Land’, esp. pp. 370-4.

13The bourgeois definition of property, which misidentifies it with such things, and which misconceives it as an exclusively private relation, became common usage, according to Crawford Brough Macpherson, towards the end of the seventeenth century in the vanguard of developing capitalist market economies.29 Before then, property was understood as a legal title, generally in land, but also in offices, skills and duties; titles often both limited and shared.30 Did maps play a part in shifting the paradigm towards the modern meaning succinctly encapsulated in 1680 by the dictionary writer, Pierre Richelet, as ’the right that belongs privately and absolutely to a person to some thing [...]’?31 Alain Pottage’s answer with respect to England is equivocal:32 negative in the case of the large landed estates of the gentry where the ideology of contract as a relation between parties prevailed, the narratives of ownership remaining ’introspective’ (his word), a matter of local memory, orally transmitted and verbally recorded, but affirmative in the case of types of land tenure which can, without much fear of contradiction, be termed bourgeois: small holdings and urban property. While the reasons for the rural first are largely pragmatic - the modest extent of surveys and the small number of disputes over boundaries to which resultant maps might potentially give rise are not ruled out on grounds of cost – the explanation for the urban second touches on issues of perception and conceptualisation. Both the greater regularity and the greater permanence of the built environment apparently flattered the association of property and topography and encouraged the substitution of visual for oral narrations of title. Moreover, urban development projects, such as the prominently marked Place royale and Place dauphine on Quesnel’s map, inevitably disrupted local memory of property patterns and that loss of place made recourse to the ’distanced’ perspective of plans and maps predictable, if not necessarily inevitable.

  • 33 Svetlana Alpers, The Art of Describing. Dutch Art in the Seventeenth Century (London: John Murray, (...)
  • 34 Ibid., pp. 148-9.

14Whereas the historian of law, Pottage, acknowledges the map and the view as having the potential to substitute a ’lordship of the eye’ for a contractual narrative of property, a potential, he is keen to argue, long resisted, the art historian, Svetlana Alpers, denies categorically that the mapping mode, a mode which she identifies specifically with a prioritisation of surface and a corresponding concern with spatial extension at the expense of volumetric solidity, is inherently or necessarily bound to a discourse of ownership.33 The map and the view, or ’prospect’, she notes were common-place pictorial genres in both seventeenth century Holland and seventeenth century England, though land tenure in England was feudal and in Holland not.34 But, according to the seventeenth century etcher and mathematician, Sébastien Le Clerc, geometry, the art which is the common foundation of surveying, cartography and topography, was to be found in ancient Egypt where the particular physiology of the land forced Egyptians to invent it:

  • 35 Sébastien Le Clerc, Pratique de la géométrie sur le papier et le terrain (Paris: T. Jolly, 1682), (...)

[T]o rectify the disorder which was commonly inflicted on their landed property by the flooding of the river Nile which swept away the boundaries and erased the limits of their inheritances; thus, this science which then consisted only in surveying for the purpose of making restitution to each person to which it belonged was called the measure of the land, or Geometry.35

  • 36 On sixteenth-century conceptions of the city in which its physical and the socio-political identit (...)
  • 37 See An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), ed. by Roger Woolhouse (London: Penguin, 1997) (...)

15Property was, by this myth, the very condition of cartography. Thus if, we now concede, that what maps present is not, strictly speaking, ’land possessed’ but ’land known in certain respects’, that knowing was clearly regarded by Le Clerc and others as a kind of possessing and those ’respects’ are precisely facts concerning the physical properties of the depicted things and places, things and places, that is, reduced by measurement to material value.36 It is hard to avoid thinking, therefore, that at least for the generations led by John Locke to conceive of knowledge as formed by that which the senses let into the mind to be stored and accumulated like so many ’pictures’ in a ’closet’, for whom, that is, the mind was a place more or less stocked with objects of knowledge, maps would have been read not only as disclosing the origins of a property regime but, additionally, as affording possession in precisely that way.37

  • 38 See William M. Ivins, Prints and Visual Communications (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1953), pp. (...)

16Quesnel’s Paris is something of a hybrid; it amalgamates the map and the perspective picture in what is called a bird’s eye view by force of the more-or-less successfully coordinated skills of painter and surveyor. On closer inspection the product is selectively treated, some parts springing up from the ground, others flatly delineated upon it. It is the latter parts, the schematically and monotonously rendered weave of the parcelised urban tissue composed of a mass of obliquely drawn dwellings stretching to the city walls and the patchwork of sub-urban fields and pasture that unfolds beyond, that particularly seem to distinguish Quesnel’s map. The lack of discrimination and particularity of that net of shallow lines when describing fields, gardens, squares, houses, palaces and monuments invites comparison with the linear matrix that, by the early seventeenth century, was nearing perfection as ’an instrument of average purpose’ in the field of reproductive print-making; its aim: to capture and render commensurate the gamut of pictorial traces from sketch to finished work and thereby turn them into commodities.38 Likewise, the map, notwithstanding the fact that the scale is idiosyncratic, measured by the pas de l’auteur, the eye of the author, objectifies and abstracts the substance of the territory of Lutèce by means of a parallel process of generic hatchings and helps, seemingly, to instantiate the new property regime by making things not only visually and conceptually graspable, but also seemingly continuous and relational, that is freely and infinitely exchangeable.

  • 39 On Henri IV’s urban projects see Ballon, chapters 1-4.
  • 40 Ibid., p. 233. Jacques Gomboust, in the address ’Aux lecteurs’ of his 1652 map of the capital deno (...)

17Such is not to deny perspective’s other role in drawing near the viewer the monuments of Henri’s building campaigns – the completion of the Louvre, the spanning of the Pont Neuf across the Seine at the tip of the île de la Cité and the opening out of the place Dauphine behind, eventually to provide a frame for a royal equestrian monument on the bridge39 – monuments that by such detailed plasticity dominate the scene, it is rather to note the presence in the map of two incompatible visions of the city: the one symbolic and political, the other geographic and economic. Moreover, in the case of certain formal features, the symbolic seems to admit the possibility of transformation into the economic. Hillary Ballon has noted that the map’s celebration of Henrician urban progress is articulated in the context of a visibly bounded city at a time when the capital had not only exceeded its ancient medieval ramparts but when these had become a political irrelevance, possibly even a barrier, to the Bourbon drive to unify and centralise the nation, exporting its defences to the borders of the kingdom.40 Another way of ’reading’ the map, however, is to note, not the actual walls but the bounded-ness, not defences as such, but definition. The clarity, order, fixity, solidity, seeming immutability, in short the crisp legibility that Quesnel brings via the sharpness of Pierre Vallet’s burin to the depiction of Paris, are characteristics we have come to associate, on the one hand, with ideal form and, on the other, with bourgeois notions of property.

*****

  • 41 Quintilian, The Orator’s Education, Books 6-8, ed. and trans. by Donald A. Russell (Cambridge, MA: (...)

18If built forms and their representation contributed to new ways of apprehending and valuing real estate, images may also have helped to establish the property-like status of so-called illusory estates: on the one hand, by force of rhetorical vividness, or what Quintilian calls enargeia41 and, on the other, by deployment of visual marks – ’Avec Privilège du Roy’, ’Cum Privilegio Regis’, ’A.P.R.’, ’C.P.R.’ – around the boundaries of the works in question.

  • 42 On titles, see Gérard Genette, Paratexts. Thresholds of Interpretation, trans. by Jane E. Lewin (C (...)
  • 43 See Ballon, p. 346, n. 53.
  • 44 See César Chesneau, sieur Dumarsais, Des tropes ou des différents sens (1731; repr. Paris: Flammar (...)
  • 45 Archives Nationales, X1A, 8662, f.12 (31/viii/1660). See George Duplessis, ’Privilège des gravures (...)
  • 46 BnF Ms f.f. Anisson Duperon 21949 (22/x/1708).
  • 47 BnF Ms f.f. Anisson Duperon 21950 (30/i/1716). See also Maxime Préaud, Pierre Casselle, Marianne G (...)
  • 48 BnF Ms f.f. Anisson Duperon 21955 (18/i/1731). See also Boutier et al, pp. 242-5 (no. 206).

19In contrast to book privileges, secured by reference to simple, identifying titles, print privileges often have recourse to description, both to designate a work’s subject matter and, occasionally as in this instance, to play up the work’s importance.42 Thus, Quesnel’s map is not only entitled a view of Paris for the sake of legal recognition, it is also qualified a marvel, a representation of the capital reformed and raised to the rank of ’the most excellent cities ever seen’.43 The Quesnel copy-privilege is probably something of an exception, but the fact that prints often lacked formal titles necessitated recourse to description, or to a mode of discourse that rhetoricians qualified as hypotiposis, a particularly persuasive and arresting form of discourse that conjures things as if before the reader’s eyes.44 Half a century later, Pierre Mariette obtained a copy-privilege for the Triumphant Entry of their Majesties Louis XIV and Maria Theresa of Austria [...] into Paris (1660), a collection commemorating the ultimate royal urban ritual in texts and images of ’all the things that were seen and occurred during our entry with the queen’ into Paris, including, ’all the triumphal arches, the portals and other ornaments, the harangues addressed to us, the procession and generally all that concerned the entry’.45 Over a century later, Pierre Jacob Gueroult du Pas was awarded a copy-privilege for ’diverse landscapes, views of the Royal Houses, and the most beautiful places in Paris and its environs’,46 Gilles Demortans for a ’Considerable Collection of views of the most beautiful spots in the Royal Houses and Gardens, mainly the fountains and great water displays at the château de Versailles’,47 and the royal engineer Roussel for a ’map of Paris, its fauxbourgs and environs with all the detail of villages, châteaux, highways, roads and others, mountains, woods, vineyards, lands, [and] meadows [...]’.48 At a time when the arts were generally understood as arts of imitation the effect of such description, of its lists stuffed with things and of the superlative qualities of their appearance to which attention is drawn by the adjective ’beautiful’, was surely experienced in its full rhetorical power. That is to acknowledge that description interrupts the flow in the letters patent by which copy-privileges were formally granted of what, by the seventeenth century, was already a highly conventionalised legal discourse in four acts (salutation, supplication, authorisation, prohibition); it punctures it with a poetic ’picture’ and thereby makes tangible the resource over which monopoly was sought, assimilating the privilege to the thing, or rather the illusion of the thing, so that it begins to appear as an object framed by the law.

Fig. 2. Pierre Vallet after François Quesnel, Map of Paris, detail of the ’Extrait de Privilege’, 1609 (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris).

  • 49 Saugrain, p. 375. See also, Martin-Dominique Fertel, La science pratique de l’imprimerie (Saint Om (...)
  • 50 The reference here is, of course, to Jacques Derrida’s theory of the parergon, based on a reading (...)
  • 51 The term is Antoine Compagnon’s from La seconde main (Paris: Éditions du seuil, 1979), pp. 328-9. (...)
  • 52 The text box reads as follows: ’Extrait de Privilege./ Par grace et privilege du Roy il est permis (...)
  • 53 The terms are Genette’s from Paratextes. Genette distinguishes between liminal devices and convent (...)
  • 54 Nicolas Schapira, ’Quand le privilège de librairie publie l’auteur’, and Claire Lévy-Lelouch, ’Qua (...)

20The case when looking at the location and function performed by the inscription of the privilege on the image seems, at first glance, almost exactly the reverse. Inscribed by law at either the beginning or the end of a book,49 in the liminal space between the text and hors-texte, the voluntary mark of privilege in the composition or lay-out of printed images appears to belong unequivocally to the frame, that is, to the hors-d’œuvre.50 In Quesnel’s Paris it occupies, along with a profile portrait of the author and the printmaker’s monogram (figure 2), the right-hand end of the lower rail, the bottom of the page, so to speak, where in a book we would conventionally expect to find it with other ’perigraphic’ information, notably the name and address of the publisher.51 Were it true that the inscription of privilege falls so absolutely outside the image, that it is both formally and discursively utterly detached from that which it serves to protect, it would seem ironically to lack force of visual persuasion precisely there where its existence is most publicly seen. In fact, the contours of the engraved lettering, the form of the text box and the shape and content of word and image collectively invite relations with the other inscriptions and decorations of the map: a liaison is yoked diagonally by the flow of the Seine between the portraits of the king (figure 3) and his author-subject, a triangle of identities is caught in the circles of the laurel wreathed coats of arms (royal and municipal) and the portrait medallion, finally, and more allusively, a connection is there to be made between the spirit of the Law above, and her tablets of sacred text (figure 4), and the fulfilment below of her practical reason in the extract of the privilege.52 This pattern of significations suggests that the copy-privilege was designed to be read, and read, moreover, as a ’discours d’escort’, analogously that is, to the other ’peritextual’ elements:53 the eulogy, the royal dedication, the ode to Faith and Law and the brief ’History of the Antiquity of Paris’. Recently, Nicolas Schapira and Claire Lévy-Lelouch have explored in two remarkable essays the competitive play of voices, identities and interests articulated by the published form of the privilège, noting its prestige-value for king and author in the moment of publication construed as a ritual and recognised not merely as a commercial event.54 Presently, the concern is rather with the manner in which that duet by sovereign and subject constitutes the work as an object-in-law, and does so visually, insisting baroquely that the enframing text be seen.

Fig. 3. Pierre Vallet after François Quesnel, Map of Paris, detail of Henri IV, 1609 (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris).

Fig. 4. Pierre Vallet after François Quesnel, Map of Paris, detail of Faith and Law, 1609 (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris).

  • 55 Jean-Claude Lebensztejn, ’Framing Classical Space’, Art Journal, 47 (1988), 37-41 (p. 38). See als (...)
  • 56 BnF Ms f.f. Anisson Duperon, 21954 (30/vi/1728).
  • 57 See, most recently on the drawings, Jacques Rigaud, Dessinateur de Versailles, Galerie Coatalem, r (...)
  • 58 ’Drawn & Engraved by J. Rigaud’.
  • 59 ’With the King’s Privilege’.
  • 60 BnF Ms f.f. Anisson Duperon, 21951 (14/vii/1716).

21I say ’baroquely’ because it is one of the paradigmatic features of the baroque that the viewer is made highly conscious of the frame, either by its obtrusive signifying or material presence, as here, or by the illusion of its erasure. In contrast, the classical frame is both unambiguously present and discrete. Jean-Claude Lebensztejn compares it to a scaffold: ’once it has helped to build the depicted space’, by locating, arresting and focusing the view, ’it should’, he notes, ’disappear as much as possible, so that the depicted space appears naturally self contained’.55 Early eighteenth century views are classical in precisely this sense. In the 1720s the topographical draftsman Jacques Rigaud produced sets of printed prospects of the royal palaces, newly awakened to the rustle of courtly rural life after Philippe d’Orléans’ urban Regency, for which he purchased a copy-privilege in June 1728.56 Etched by the author after pen, ink and wash drawings,57 the views (figure 5) are contained by a single encompassing line; the information concerning copy-privilege consigned to a separate zone, outside the space of representation. The deployment of the inscriptions within that independent under-region in a sentence like structure – ’Dessiné & Gravé par J. Rigaud’,58 on the left, followed by ’Avec Privilège du Roy’59 on the right – effects a conjunction between ’author’ and privilège-holder, at the same time seemingly qualifying as merely adjunctive, the relation between privilege and the object of its concern. Only in instances such as the provençal wood carver, Jean-Bernard Toro’s designs for vases (figure 6), for which the Paris architect Le Pas Dubuisson obtained a copy-privilege in July 1716, instances where the formal mark of the frame is absent, does the privilege explicitly assume a constitutive role.60 The vases (figure 7), unlike the views, are not autonomous or fully resolved inventions, but ideas, improvisations, variations on a theme whose potential for re-use hangs suspended on the page. The inscription of the copy-privilege, abbreviated to the acronym CPR, detaches itself from the proper names on the plates to attach itself instead to the underside of the vases, to the nominal line upon which they stand, pressing up to the designs and marking each individually as private property.

Fig. 5. Jacques Rigaud, View of the Chapel of the Château of Versailles, etching, 1728 (British Museum, London).

Fig. 6. De Rochefort after Jean-Bernard Toro, Nouveau Livre de Vases, title-page, etching, 1716 (British Museum, London).

  • 61 BnF Ms f.f. Anisson Duperon, 21950 (22/i/1713). See also Grivel, Le commerce, p. 10.
  • 62 See Saugrain, p. 361.
  • 63 Fagnani advertised the publication of the Receuil by subscription in the Mercure de France (March (...)

22Privilege, we can say, worked as a frame in conjunction with or in the absence of an actual frame to demarcate and give notice of private property. Moreover, on occasion it also functioned more overtly as a strategy of appropriation. In October 1712 and January 1713, the Italian marchand joaillier Jacques-Philippe Fagniani, requested a copy-privilege, or rather the extension of one in order to re-issue the ’œuvres’ of Jacques Callot, Stefano della Bella and Israël Silvestre whose plates he had acquired from Nicolas Petit de Lagny, the son-in-law of the original publisher to whom they had passed by inheritance along with the copy-privileges.61 Copy-privileges, as privilèges were granted for a fixed term: ten years in the case of Quesnel’s map, twelve years in the case of Rigaud’s views and fifteen years in the case of Toro’s vases. Extension of privileges became common but contentious practice during the course of the seventeenth century and were awarded and justified on the grounds of an addition, a supplementation of the original by one fourth.62 In the case of books this was managed by an amplification of the length of the text, by an extension in time; Fagniani, likewise, mounted his case for prolongation, in part, by reference to the assiduity with which he had tracked down obscure and lost plates by his triumvirate of artists and thereby extended their complete works.63

  • 64 Other frames were designed and etched by Sebastien Le Clerc. For a highly critical response to the (...)

23But images, unlike œuvres, or texts, have not the same capacity for augmentation: it is not possible to add figures, develop a landscape, multiply still-life objects in the way you might add a chapter, footnotes, appendices or an index. Fagniani’s unorthodox solution was to augment by way of the frame. The frontispiece, which carries in addition to the names of the authors, title, place of publication and notice of privilège, a dedication to Philippe, duc d’Orléans, who in 1712 was still toast of court and town for his military successes in Spain, is of original, but at this stage, unattributed design. It introduces us to the œuvre-objet by way of an architectural metaphor and renders functionally redundant the original frontispiece that follows. The second (figure 8), now false title page is a collage and derivative of Callot’s Misères et Malheurs de la Guerre. That is to say, it incorporated the original title page, complete with the inscription of the 1633 privilège, and extends about it a frame designed by Gilles-Marie Oppenord and etched by Nicolas Tardieu whose names appear at the foot of the plate, a frame which is both a pastiche in ornament of Callot’s subject-matter (though its triumphalism is in manifest contradiction to the mood of the title) and a collage of details excerpted from his work, ’bon-mots’, so to speak, pasted into cartouches borne aloft by caryatids to the left and right and flanked by putti and ordinance at the bottom.64 Fagniani, in his petition for extension justified his case by reference neither to labour nor to investment, but to ’enrichment’, ’a new lustre’; an increase, that is, in exchange value and in property and not, as was more usually and explicitly the case in literature, in either effort or cost.

Fig. 7. Cochin after Jean-Bernard Toro, Design for a Vase, etching, 1716 (British Museum, London).

Fig. 8 Jacques Callot and Nicolas Tardieu after Gilles-Marie Oppenord, Misères et Malheurs de la Guerre, etching, 1633 and 1713 (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris).

  • 65 Roger de Piles, Cours de peinture par principes (Paris: Jacques Estienne, 1708), p. 99.
  • 66 Félibien, pp. 44-5, 46.

24Extension of the law of copyright by analogy to new cultural domains always involves change; a challenge or revision by medium of the principles of the legal right. Art was not the passive recipient of a regime fashioned elsewhere but, by virtue precisely of its anomaly to the textual norm, a participant in shaping both the understanding of what was at stake and the terms of the discourse. In the complex of meanings assigned to property by law, economy and political power, art gave priority to its ’modern’ meaning as absolute, private property grasped visually in the signs of physical things, not the social relations that constituted those things. Moreover, artistic discourse advanced a connection between the representation of property, of ownership, and ownership by acts of representation. Roger de Piles in Cours de peinture par principes (1708), the single most influential art-theoretical text of the turn of the century, wrote of landscape that the painter of it is master to dispose of all things at will; that in no other genre is his dominion, his creative proprietorship, more evident than in the case of the view.65 In illustration of that claim we can note that the transcription of Quesnel’s privilège in Félibien’s History of Paris (1725) was framed by other documented instances of property relations: by letters patent for the construction of the pont des Marchands and a contract for the alienation of parts of the clôture du Temple on one side, and by letters patent activating the construction by private lease holders of properties on royal squares on the other.66

*****

25Having analysed in some detail how a depiction of property, a visual articulation of ownership, was converted mentally into a res or legally constituted thing the question remaining is as follows: was the desire to see property where it was not economically determined or economically determining? Putting the question differently, what were the circumstances that occasioned the materialisation of literary and artistic work as property and whose interests did it secure? To talk of ’reification’ is, of course, to invite a particular kind of answer: to engage generally with the Marxist critique of capitalism and to reach specifically for economic causes and ideological consequences.

  • 67 The starting point for Karl Marx’s theory of reification is the section ’The Fetishism of Commodit (...)
  • 68 The obvious point of contrast here is the case of gifts. See Natalie Zemon Davis, The Gift in Sixt (...)
  • 69 Lukács, pp. 88-9.
  • 70 Robert Darnton, The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History (Hamonsworth: (...)

26Described abstractly in Capital as a double process, a dialectical relation between social being and social consciousness, specifically, between objective social relations and the subjective misapprehension of them as obtaining between things, reification for Marx, and later for Lukács, is not however a universal human propensity; on the contrary both advance a fundamentally historical theory of reification.67 It occurs, they maintain, with the transition to market capitalism. That is, it arises in economies in which the circulation of goods creates impersonal relations of price between things exchanged rather than social relations of value between the exchanging parties.68 Moreover, it holds the working-class temporarily in thrall, mystifying the social relations of their exploitation as natural and therefore inescapable. Reification is thus one of a cluster of overlap-ping concepts, including commodification, fetishism and alienation that in Marxism collectively account for the particular form that economic relations assume in capitalism and in which the illusion of reification is necessarily rooted. There is no reification in the Marxist sense without commodification. Indeed, according to Lukács, only when commodity exchange becomes the dominant rather than the occasional mode of transaction in society does reification in the strict sense occur. To illustrate the argument he traces the path followed by traditional handicrafts in the West towards machine industry via collectives and manufacture, noting the continuous trend towards rationalisation, depersonalisation, and isolation.69 The mood of chilly, deluded and hopeless passivity that pervades Lukács’ diagnostic representation of the working-class under capitalism, and for which he recoined the meaning of the word ’contemplation’, seems in conspicuous contradiction to the active, clamorous and relatively clear-sighted narration of the relationship between masters and journeymen in Paris print-shops in the 1730s proposed by the printer Nicolas Contat in his autobiographical Anecdotes typogaphiques (1762); memorably so in the episode of the ’Great Cat Massacre’ in which a master printer’s cats were duly massacred by his apprentices.70 And yet, in the story, the workers’ sado-comic conversion of the master’s wife symbolically into a thing, a cat (a cat-machine for an era when animals had no souls), occurs precisely to avenge the bourgeois’, that is the master’s, materialisation of the familial relations obtaining in the ideal and traditional workshop between masters, apprentices and journeymen into the modern coercion of an anonymous labour-force by capital.

  • 71 Michael Sonenscher, Work and Wages. Natural Law, Politics and the Eighteenth-Century French Trades(...)
  • 72 See Henri-Jean Martin, Print, Power, and People in Seventeenth-Century France, trans. by David Ger (...)
  • 73 Sonenscher, p. 15.

27Michael Sonenscher has argued that the ritual slaughter of cats by alienated apprentices made famous by Robert Darnton is only properly understood in the context of the long term restructuring of the book trade from the mid-seventeenth century.71 In the interests of more effective censorship and absolute political control Colbert had overseen the steady concentration of the book trade in favoured shops and the integration of the several practices of printing, publishing and retailing. To give precise numbers: of the 79 shops operating 217 presses in 1666 only 51 with 195 presses remained by 1701.72 Meanwhile, the Booksellers’ statutes, radically revised in 1686, had fixed the maximum number of print-shops at 36, an anticipated further reduction never met but to which the trade remained formally committed. The Crown was not the sole beneficiary of these reforms. On the contrary, pressure to tighten controls was exerted as much from within the trade as from outside; according to Sonenscher, larger and more integrated shops facilitated the detection and proscription of piracy, and the reduction in competition improved the chances that those remaining enterprises would better survive economic down-turns.73

  • 74 Ibid., pp. 15-6.
  • 75 BnF Ms f.f. Anisson Duperon, 22062, f. 175; Sonenscher, p. 16.

28In addition to these general structural changes, the book trade instigated modifications to working practices to which, in a series of disputes from the 1660s about the length of the working day, the certification of completed tasks and the employment of disenfranchised labour, apprentices and journeymen printers vocally objected as forms of ’servitude’ incompatible with their status and civil rights.74 Indeed, opposition in 1723 to the recruitment of alloués (literally hands for hire, à louer, and actually no more than hands, because skilled neither by journeyman-ship nor by apprentice-ship) was articulated by indentured printers as an opposition to the reduction of the workforce to the condition of ’slaves’, to the condition, that is, of things not persons.75 In the course of the seventeenth century the Paris book trade was, on this evidence, brought by royal will and market principle to the edge of commodity production, from which edge workers like Contat looked on and anticipated the decomposition of their ’primitive’ rights and customs, the reification of labour and the subjugation of consciousness it would ultimately entail.

29At the time the journeymen were taking legal action against ’enslavement’, the capital’s master booksellers collectively mounted a theoretical defence of the articles concerning copy-privilege in the new 1723 Règlement du Conseil, that is of their incorporeal assets accumulated via the system of privilege, assets that had given them unprecedented commercial advantage over booksellers in the provinces. In the brief to Fleuriau d’Armenonville, Keeper of the Seals, the lawyer, Louis d’Héricourt, for the first time in the history of French copyright law, argues by analogy that a work of literature is a property by virtue of the labour of its author. His is a story about the reification of authorial, not artisanal labour; moreover, it seemingly puts a weapon into, rather than chains upon, the hands of the ’workers’ concerned. It is, you could say, a story about the determining power of reification, to follow the account of its determined condition.

  • 76 See John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, ed. by Crawford Brough Macpherson (Indianapolis: Ha (...)
  • 77 Héricourt, p. 22. The translations of this text are my own.
  • 78 For a discussion of God’s bounty and man’s subsequent and divinely sanctioned lordship of the land (...)

30Raymond Birn has noted Héricourt’s debt to John Locke’s theory of the origins of private property outlined in chapter 5 of the Second Treatise of Government (1689).76 Héricourt, however, inflects that debt in subtle and significant ways. Defined in the opening statement of principles as a bond (un lien) that effects that state of sociation to which ’men’ are destined by nature, labour is according to Héricourt not so much an action as a transaction and occurs therefore not so much in the artist’s workshop or writer’s cabinet as in the market-place.77 The register and mood of the text is pragmatic and implicitly urban by comparison to the philosophical narrative that unfolds in Locke’s pastorally construed, indeed Edenic, setting.78 Consequently, though Héricourt’s case notionally acknowledges a time before property, it proceeds as if it were always already there.

  • 79 Héricourt, pp. 23-4.
  • 80 Ibid., p. 27.
  • 81 De Piles, p. 111.

31The text goes on to advance two propositions: the first (that the literary text belongs absolutely and therefore in perpetuity to the author) establishing a necessary foundation for the second (that that property is transferred intact with the sale of the manuscript). Significantly, it is actually the second and secondary proposition that is elaborated at length. To be sure, at first Héricourt observes ’simply’ and ’naturally’ that ’a manuscript […] is in the person of the author a good that is so absolutely his that it is no more permitted to take it from him than his money, his things or even his land’,79 but money, things and land represent the three categories into which property is sub-divided – specie, movable property and immovable property – and as such assume an austerely abstract and categorical value in this part of the case. By contrast, when Héricourt turns in the second to talk about the circulation of texts and manuscripts the thingness of a literary text is conveyed by the enumeration of multiple and categorically redundant forms of property, for instance ’land’ and ’houses’ (both immovable), ’furniture and other things of whatever kind they may be’(movable property, all).80 It is indeed, in the context of commerce – in the thick of exchange and in the sweat of the accumulation of stock – that signs of property multiply and become real. They are invoked, one could say with Roger de Piles and by analogy to illusion in painting, in the ’first lines’ of the proposition, in its ’foreground’, in order to draw d’Armenonville’s eye. ’[T]hey establish (impriment) the first appearance of truth and contribute significantly to the persuasiveness (à faire jouer l’artifice) of the work and anticipate the esteem that we should have for the whole’.81 The materiality and sensuousness of the signs of property deployed in proposition two thus retrospectively lend a vivid persuasiveness to the metaphysical condition of property abstractly enumerated in proposition one, and by force of the law of which texts were to enter most profitably into exchange.

  • 82 See William Pietz, ’The Problem of the Fetish, IIIa: Bosman’s Guinea and the Enlightenment Theory (...)
  • 83 Marx, Capital, pp. 163-77.

32The framing, the adornment even, of the concept of the literary work by these figures of property in Héricourt’s brief, results, it seems to me, in its fetishisation. What is more, variously categorised as manuscript, textual production and literary work, the repetitious naming of the legal textual object in proposition two further betrays that state of mysterious and fascinated enthrallment by which fetishism in its original anthropological context is known: the supra-valuation of ’other’material objects in black Africa as perceived by an uncomprehending Western reason.82 Like the fetish gold of the Akan from Guinea, much discussed at this time, Héricourt’s literary-work-as-property is the embodiment of economic desire; and like that fetish gold also, it provokes a certain anxiety, a mental confusion about the exact nature of the legal entity ’discovered’, a banal thing on the one hand, and on the other, an entity consecrated after all with powers to defend its possessor from danger, specifically the dangers of competition. This newly constituted legal textual thing is a fetish moreover, in the Marxist sense since, in proposition two, it is stripped of its uses by the discursive context of trade and reduced to a singleness and autonomy of value: exchange-value.83

  • 84 Héricourt, pp. 28-9, 35, and 40.
  • 85 Alain Viala, ’La triple économie du littéraire’, Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 1 (...)
  • 86 Nicolas Sanson, Atlas du monde, 1665, ed. by Mireille Pastoureau (Paris: Sand & Conti, 1988).
  • 87 Mireille Pastoureau, ’Feuilles d’atlas’, in Cartes et figures de la terre (Paris: Centre Geoges Po (...)
  • 88 Peter Fuhring, ’Jean Barbet’s Livre d’architecture, d’autels et de cheminées: Drawing and Design i (...)
  • 89 Grivel, Le commerce, pp. 147-50.

33In the process the author is eclipsed. Having been established as the origin and thus the notionally unique and absolute possessor of the text in the beginning, he is thereafter made redundant. His discursive role is exhausted by attribution. Only when Héricourt comes, in conclusion, to describe a world in which the monopoly of privileges is compromised is a social portrait briefly sketched.84 Héricourt’s author is a commodity producer, a person, that is, utterly dependent on the market for his survival. As such he differs significantly from the image of the composite author of the late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries, resurrected by scholars, most notably by Alain Viala, part creature, courtier or office-holder, part entrepreneur and part disinterested genius labouring for posterity.85 In this respect Héricourt’s author corresponds more nearly to cartographers like Sanson and designers and print-makers like Jean Barbet, or Israël Silvestre, or the Perelle, that is, to graphic rather than literary authors. Thanks to the research of Mireille Patoureau we know that, notwithstanding the fact that privileges in maps were invariably licensed in the name of the cartographer, map-makers like Nicolas Sanson were rarely in a position to work independently.86 Sanson continued in the employ of his publishers throughout his career, first Melchior Tavernier, later Pierre I and Pierre II Mariette; his financial resources remained limited, though his reputation was internationally established and his maps widely marketed and pirated abroad.87 Likewise, Jean Barbet, as a young draftsman and counterpart of the printer alloué, was bedded, boarded and salaried by Tavernier to work from 5.00 am until 8.00 pm daily in the execution of architectural views.88 Israël Silvestre was similarly marketed by a single publisher, his uncle and father-in-law, Henriet Israël, until he inherited the stock and became a publisher in turn. By contrast the Perelle, father (Gabriel) and son (Adam) hawked their talent to a number of publishers specialising in topography: Pierre Ferdinand, Jean I Le Blond, Nicolas Langlois, in addition to Henriet Israël and Pierre Mariette.89 These were exactly the kind of authors, authors whose livelihoods depended exclusively on the market, whose careers, Héricourt anticipated, would be utterly destroyed in the event of a change in the law.

  • 90 Thomas E. Kaiser in ’Money, Despotism, and Public Opinion in Early Eighteenth-Century France: John (...)

34The reification of word and image by privilege in the author’s name delivered profit to publishers. Rarely were authors the direct beneficiaries of its terms: the career of Jacques Rigaud who purchased his own copy-privileges and sold his own work was something of an exception. More usually the eye is merely tricked into seeing the author’s right in the place of the publisher’s monopoly. And, it was the scene of the latter’s plight that Héricourt most eloquently described. Imagine, he asks d’Armenonville, shops, booksellers’ shops, in which whole fortunes have been invested suddenly and arbitrarily stripped of the protection afforded their stock by privilege, the texts reduced to no more than the material value of the ’useless mass of paper’ on which they are printed, fit only to pulp or burn; an image all the more arresting in the wake of the Law crash at the end of 1720 and the catastrophic devaluation to point zero of the paper currency, a property-standard currency as it happened.90 To avoid a comparable collapse of the book trade, d’Armnonville is enjoined in the name of justice to turn a deaf ear to the pleas of the provinces and to continue to endorse the privileges of the Parisian patriciate. The state’s role is construed as one merely of protection by maintenance of the artificial scarcity of texts and images which the legal fiction of intellectual property creates.

  • 91 Lukács, pp. 86, 94, and 169.
  • 92 Christopher May, ’The Denial of History: Reification, Intellectual Property and the Lessons of the (...)

35If such constitutive reification appears to have little in common with that critiqued by Lukács, if not by Marx, it emerged under the same economic conditions: with the formation of a literary market in France. Moreover, privilege had worked to extend the parameters of that market-place to the point that Héricourt is able persuasively to anticipate market principle as paradigmatic – the only game in town. According to Lukács such expansion is accelerated by the illusion of its inevitability in natural law;91 in the case of copyright by the substitution of rights for privileges. That is to say, that commoditisation having obscured the social character of labour and veiled the human relations between, in this case, authors and publishers, behind relations among things (manuscripts and cash), a particular and contingent set of social relations becomes identified with the natural features of the physical objects (property), thereby acquiring the illusion of truth to nature, of inexorability, a condition that contributes further to the reproduction and reinforcement of existing social relations. In effect, the idea that market places need to be established is forgotten. Misapprehended as principle, or law, markets just are – seemingly. Such is to note with Christopher May that privilege reformed as right falsifies or hides its historical origin and political condition under a cover; moreover, it obscures the interests served by the monopolies (temporarily) secured.92

  • 93 Héricourt, p. 23.
  • 94 Ibid., p. 24.
  • 95 Ibid., p. 26.
  • 96 Ordonnance de Moulins, February, 1566, art. 78. By contrast this ordinance is not among those rece (...)
  • 97 Héricourt, pp. 24-6.
  • 98 Ibid., p. 22.

36In Héricourt’s brief the king’s hand in matters of privilege is repeatedly negated: ’it is not the privileges granted by the king [...] that make [book-sellers] into owners of the works they print […]’;93 ’the king has no right whilst the author lives or is represented by heirs and beneficiaries; he cannot give [the work] to anyone by the favour of privilege without the consent of the person to whom the work belongs’;94 and again, ’the king having no right over the works of authors he cannot transmit them to anyone without the consent of those who are their legitimate owners’.95 Moreover, Héricourt redoubles the erasure of the sovereign authority in privilege by a recapitulative misreading of legislation from the sixteenth century to the end of Louis XIV’s reign according to which privilege is never more than an instrument of censorship first put into service by the Ordinance of Moulins in 1566.96 He thereby denies both the statutory nature of royal justice in privilege and eliminates the historical record of its establishment. In their place he puts a right and a thing. The right, an anterior right of possession, he says, had suffered ’no compromise’ at the hand of statute law; indeed with respect to authors and their cessionaries, the ’common law’ had been maintained in its entirety.97 Meanwhile, the statement, ’it is not the privilege granted by the king […] that makes [booksellers] into owners of the books they print’ ends ’but only the purchase of the manuscript by which the author transmits the property to him’.98 The manuscript, not the king, is the material thing.

  • 99 See Lévy-Lelouch, ’Quand Privilège’, pp. 146-9.
  • 100 Lévy-Lelouch’s argument is grounded on the work of Louis Marin in Le portrait du roi (Paris: Les É (...)
  • 101 De Piles, p. 25.

37In her essay ’When Privilege Publishes the King’ Lévy-Lelouch argued that the compulsory publication of privileges at the beginning or end of books created a typographical and symbolic space in which the king shows himself; specifically, in which he is read performing his power of legal protection and, in his capacity as the inaugural reader, his authority majestically to guarantee the value of the works he favoured.99 Portraiture, by this account, was the discursive mode of privilege under Louis XIV.100 By contrast, you could say, to rewrite privilege as property Héricourt’s brief selects still-life as its rhetorical register, and more particularly trompe l’œil or the instantiation of what de Piles defined as painting’s unique capacity to make things acutely present, to trick as well as to entertain the eye.101 To propose such an argument, one more speculative than Lévy-Lelouch’s because trompe l’œil is neither a literary genre nor a figure of speech, its illusionism, strictly speaking, beyond the reach of text, is to hold out the possibility of a better understanding of the ideological effect of Héricourt’s re-drawn definition of privilege and of the provocation it presented to d’Armenonville.

  • 102 On trompe l’œil in France in the early modern period see especially Louis Marin, ’Initiation au tr (...)
  • 103 For a discussion and examples of the trope see Deceptions and Illusions. Five Centuries of Trompe (...)

38In trompe l’œil, perspective, rather than enfolding persons, kings, into the space and narrative of the work, rather throws forward often banal, everyday objects – books, manuscripts, letters, the paraphernalia of writing were especially favoured by the seventeenth and eighteenth century painters – into the place of the viewer-reader, making them appear real against an abstracted, vertical ground.102 In Héricourt’s brief, the author’s ’fruit’ obtrudes, like the grapes of Zeuxis, the paradigmatic topos of trompe l’œil.103 His work is:

  • 104 Héricourt, p. 24.

[T]he fruit of his labour which is his own, and of which he must have the freedom to dispose of at his will.104

39Its contours are sharply shaped by the most intimate possession and its relief effected by liberty, the law by natural force to which it detaches itself from its social moorings to circulate at will. The author’s ’fruit’, like Parrhasios’s curtain, covers the objective circumstance of privilege and as a synecdoche for the discourse of property forestalls the need to discuss further the legitimacy of the commercial advantages it works to gain. Subjectively, it installs property as inherently pertinent. Trompe l’œil not only thus rivets attention, in painting it also astonishes by its dramatic reversal of values: a minor figuration of some object or property usurps the place of grandiloquent historical themes and significant human action. The king’s role, his symbolic body are, as we have seen, repeatedly erased by Héricourt to make way for a thing, manuscript, a literary text. In such circumstances d’Armenonville responded instinctively as if to an act of lèse majesté.

  • 105 Jean Baudrillard, ’Trompe l’œil’, in Calligram: Essays in New Art History from France, ed. by Norm (...)
  • 106 On the transformation of knowledge into ’facts’ see Latour, pp. 174-5.
  • 107 May, p. 44.

40Jean Baudrillard notes the ’negative pleasure’ of trompe l’œil, its ’worrying strangeness’, and the anxiety that it provokes about the metaphysical nature of the represented thing.105 Héricourt’s brief effects an analogous estrangement of privilege, transforming a once familiar commonplace, ’Avec Privilège du Roy’, into something uncanny. What distinguishes trompe l’œil from reification as an account of that transformation is that the new discourse of copyright may be said to be installed in appearance only. Its epistemological deceit, while momentarily persuasive, is recognisable for what it is: a trick, a conceptual sleight of hand that has yet to be naturalised, ’to harden’ into fact.106 Trompe l’œil describes that historical moment when texts are consciously and eloquently being made into property, and before that instance of forgetting after which, as May has noted, philosophical concerns about the naturalised order of intellectual property shift and narrow to bureaucratic issues about the efficient implementation of mechanisms of control.107

*****

  • 108 John Berger, ’Past Seen from a Possible Future’, in Selected Essays and Articles. The Look of Thin (...)

41To conclude: the argument advanced above is that the visual contributed actively to the practice and theory of copy-privilege in France. To be precise, it is suggested that by a process of adaptation to and translation of the properties of space and tangibility that belong to art as such, and which are manifest in representation, the meaning of privilege was redefined as alluding, not to a negotiated and limited monopoly, but to an absolute property right. By addressing a dialectical question about the particular ways in which the image helped to produce the law and law came usefully to frame the image, it has been possible to show in the first part of the essay that the natural signs of western Painting, specifically the window analogy of pictorial space, were, in the provocative words of John Berger, like ’a safe, let into the wall’, in which the visible was ’deposited’,108 that perspective, in short, was a property-making machine; and that, in the manner of hedges and walls, the conventional signs or marks of the law served to transform art into a bounded possession attributable to an author. If it is generally acknowledged that authors, or more especially their cessionaries, were actively trying to interest the law in their quest for better conditions of trade, it is perhaps less well recognised that the law, which tends to deny the pertinence of practices and values outside its own domain, gained in its turn from representations of property in art by force of which it crafted a new theory of privilege.

42In the second part of the essay, the law, in the person of Héricourt, is staged as another interested party, attempting in turn to engineer into acceptance his definition of privilege. In a close reading of his controversial memorandum, we traced the ways he deployed visual tropes made vivid by implied illusion to preserve by logic and definition (’right’ and ’property’) earlier prerogatives secured by custom (’privilege’). Crucial to the construction of the new theory of privilege was the concept of property, a ’boundary object’ which by seemingly enabling the articulation of statements of identity when actually no more than licensing the perpetuation of arguments by analogy, obscured the different meanings of the word in law, aesthetics, economics and politics, thereby making possible the transfer of discursive assets across incommensurate domains. Thus, while the notion of the ’boundary object’ is generally used to describe and explain (sometimes uncomprehending) relations of sharing and co-operation, it by no means precludes more knowing appropriations and competition. The conflicts incurred by privilege becoming right are here revealed by a distanced perspective; by recourse not only to explanation at an institutional level but also to account of shifts in macro socio-economic forces. The material context of the trafficking in meanings (of property) and the reification of practices (of art) is, of course, capitalism, specifically the emergence of the literary and graphic markets, markets to the impersonal forces of fortune of which authors hazarded their works in commodity form. Intellectual property rights offered a means of notionally extending, and actually of securing better, commercial monopolies in fact won by privilege in pre-commercial culture. It was, however, a promise not fully or formally implemented until the passing of the Act of the Rights of Genius by the Convention on 19 July 1793.

43Finally, illusion in the radical form of trompe l’œil has served to model our understanding of the historical moment when seemingly natural claims to rights of intellectual property were projected into the privilege debate. To compare Héricourt’s inaugural articulation of right to the artful and ambitious representations of Zeuxis and Parrhasios, is not only to acknowledge the artificiality of the language of natural rights but also to recognise as particular and significant that moment when claims made in its name were, after the initial surprise, nevertheless seen for what they were: mere assertions, provoking assent in some, horror in others.

Notes

1 My warm thanks to Lionel Bently and Ronan Deazley for their improvements to both the content and presentation of this present essay, to Mark Rose for raising the question of reification, and to Julian Stallabrass for his suggestions for the clarification of the argument.

2 See Marianne Grivel, Le Commerce de l’estampe à Paris au xviie siècle (Geneva: Droz, 1986), pp. 83-116; Marianne Grivel, ’La Réglementation du travail des graveurs en France au xvie siècle’, in Le Livre et l’image en France au xvie siècle (Paris: Presses de l’École normale supérieure, 1989), pp. 2-27.

3 Jean de La Fontaine, ’Conte du Tableau’, in Contes et Nouvelles (1664) quoted from Rensselaer W. Lee, Ut Pictura Poesis: The Humanistic Theory of Painting (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1967), p. 9.

4 Claude Marin Saugrain, Code de la librairie et imprimerie de Paris ou conférence du réglement arrêté au conseil d’état du roi le 28 fevrier 1723 (Paris: Communauté de la librairie, 1744), p. viii.

5 On the iconography and ideology of the eye of the law see most fully and recently Michael Stolleis, L’Œil de la loi. Histoire d’une métaphore, introduced by Pierre Legendre (Paris: Mille et une nuits, 2006).

6 Especially the sociology of science; see: Susan Leigh Star and James R. Griesemer, ’Institutional Ecology, ”Translations” and Boundary Objects: Amateurs and professionals in Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907-39’, Social Studies in Science, 19 (1989) 387-420; Joan Fujimura, ’Crafting Science: Standardized Packages, Boundary Objects, and ”Translation” ’, in Science as practice and culture, ed. by A. Pickering (London: Chicago University Press, 1992), pp. 168-211.

7 Bruno Latour, Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987), esp. pp. 208-9.

8 OED, ad. voc. ’reification’.

9 Louis d’Héricourt, ’Mémoire en forme de requête à M. le Garde des Sceaux rédigé par M. Louis D’Héricourt, avocat au Parlement’, in La Propriété littéraire au xviiie siècle. Receuil de pièces et de documents, ed. by E. Laboulaye and G. Guiffrey (Paris: Hachette, 1859), pp. 21-40 (p. 22). Also available at ’Louis d’Héricourt’s memorandum (1725-1726)’, Primary Sources.

10 See Raymond Birn, ’The Profit of Ideas. Privilèges en librairie in Eighteenth-century France’, Eighteenth-Century Studies, 4 (1971), 131-68.

11 See Giles Barber, ’French Royal Decrees Concerning the Book Trade, 1700-1789’, Australian Journal of French Studies, 3 (1966), 312-30 (p. 314).

12 Pre-modern privilege varied in scope: the privilège local limited protection to within one specified city; by contrast the privilège général offered protection from piracy throughout the kingdom. International copyright agreements were not brokered until the nineteenth century. It was ’bourgeois’ in as much as in practice it protected the commercial interests of publishers. See David T. Pottinger, The French Book Trade in the Ancien Régime 1500-1791 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1958), pp. 210-23.

13 Michel Félibien, Histoire de la ville de Paris, expanded and edited by Guy-Alexis Lobineau, 5 vols (Paris: G. Desprez, 1725), 5 (Extraits des régistres du Parlement), p. 46: ’La ville de Paris gravée. Du XIV Avril [1608] Veues par la cour les letters paten[t] es du roy données à Paris le 4 janvier 1608, par lequel led. Seigneur permet à François Quesnel maistre peintre à Paris, & après luy à sa femme & enfans & heritiers, de pouvoir librement tailler ou faire tailler soit en bois ou en cuivre, estamper en papier ou en quelque sorte que bon luy semblera, la ville de Paris, selon qu’il la deja faicte, & la vendre & debiter ou faire vendre et debiter, par tout le royaume, pays, terres & seigneuries de l’obeissance dud. Seigneur durant le temps & espace de dix ans continuels, à compter du jour de la premiere impression. Autres lettres en forme de relief de surannation du 8. du present mois, c. LA DICTE COUR a ordonné & ordonne que lesd. Lettres seront enrégistrés às registres d’icelle, ouy le procureur general du roy, pour y jouir par l’impetrant de l’effect & contenu en icelles’.

14 Archives nationals, X1A/8646 f. 201 quoted in extract in Hillary Ballon, The Paris of Henry IV. Architecture and Urbanism (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991), p. 346, n. 53.

15 See ’Eloy d’Amerval’s Privilege (1507)’, Primary Sources. On the early history of copyrights in France, see: Elizabeth Armstrong, Before Copyright. The French Book-privilege System 1498-1526 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990); and Cynthia Brown, Poets, Patrons and Printers. Crisis of Authority in Late Medieval France (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1995).

16 The book’s full title is as follows, La totale et vraye description de to les passaiges, lieux, destroictz: par lesquelz ou passer etrer des Gaulles es Ytalies. Pierre Gringore’s privilège of 1516 made specific mention of the special effort of having illustrations made for his work Les fantaisies de mère sotte, ’pour la decoration dudit livre conformes aux matieres contenues en iceluy’. See Armstrong, p. 80.

17 See Marianne Grivel, ’Les graveurs en France au xvie siècle’, in La Gravure française à la Renaissance à la Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, 1994-5), pp. 33-57.

18 The one surviving copy of the map is in the Département des cartes et plans at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (hereafter BnF). On the map, see Ballon, pp. 233-7; Jean Boutier, Jean-Yves Sarracin and Marianne Sibille, Les plans de Paris des origins (1493) à la fin du xviiie siècle (Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, 2002), pp. 16-17, 115-7 (no. 41); Paris à vol d’oiseau, ed. by Michel Le Moël (Paris: Archives Nationales, 1995). On the monumental wall map as a genre see Christian Jacob, L’empire des cartes: Approches théoriques de la cartographie à travers l’histoire (Paris: Albin Michel, 1992), pp. 54-6.

19 ’D’Amerval’s privilege (1507)’, Primary Sources.

20 Ballon, p. 346, n. 53.

21 Carol Rose, Property and Persuasion. Essays on the History, Theory and Rhetoric of Ownership (Oxford: Westview Press, 1994), pp. 267-304.

22 See also: Jack Goody, Death, Property and Ancestors (London: Tavistock Publications, 1962), pp. 284-7; Maurice Bloch, ’Property and the End of Affinity’, in Marxist Analyses and Social Anthropology, ed. by Maurice Bloch (London: Malaby Press, 1975), pp. 203-28 (pp. 203-5); Alan Carter, The Philosophical Foundations of Property Rights (New York: Harvester, Wheatsheaf, 1989), esp. pp. 126-42.

23 See two important articles by Alain Pottage, ’The Measure of the Land’, The Modern Law Review, 57 (1994), 361-84, and ’The Originality of Registration’, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 15 (1995) 371-401, in which the legal trade-offs between resources of local memory and abstract professional cartography in English land law are discussed. My thanks to Lionel Bently for bringing these to my attention, too late I fear fully to have taken considered account of the range of different articulations of the relationship between property and topography in the complex history of conveyancing outline there.

24 I am grateful to Denis Ribouillou for the reference to François de Dainville, ’Les cartes et contestations au xve siècle’, Imago Mundi, 24 (1970), 99-121. See also Rose Mitchell, ’Maps in Sixteenth-Century English Law Courts’, Imago Mundi, 58 (2006), 212-8. For a discussion of the different types of drawing and the particular moment at which each might be introduced to the judicial process in the not unrelated sphere of building regulations, see Robert Carvais, ’Servir la justice, l’art et la technique: le rôle des plans, dessins et croquis devant la Chambre royale des bâtiments’, Sociétés et représentations, 18 (2004), 75-96.

25 Rose, pp. 275-8.

26 On the trope of true likeness in early modern city maps, see Lucia Nuti, ’The Perspective Plan in the Sixteenth Century: The Invention of a Representational Language’, Art Bulletin, 76 (1994), 105-28 (pp. 107-9).

27 Rose, pp. 267-9.

28 See Henri Sauval, Histoire et recherches des antiquités de la ville de Paris, 3 vols, ed. by Anthony Blunt (Paris, 1724; Farnborough, Hants: Gregg International Publishers, 1969), 1, pp. 26-7. Though not published until the eighteenth century, Sauval’s text was largely complete by 1654 when he successfully applied for a copy-privilege.

29 See Property. Mainstream and Critical Positions, ed. by C.B. Macpherson (Oxford: Blackwell, 1978), pp. 1-13. Specifically in relation to France, see Thomas E. Kaiser, ’Property, Sovereignty, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Tradition of French Jurisprudence’, in The French Idea of Freedom and the Declaration of the Rights of 1789, ed. by Dale Van Klee (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994), pp. 300-39 (pp. 301-9).

30 On property in offices see, among others: David Parker, ’Sovereignty, Absolutism and the Function of the Law in Seventeenth-Century France’, Past and Present, 122 (1989), 36-74 (pp. 50-4); David Parker, ’Absolutism, Feudalism and Property Rights in the France of Louis XIV’, Past and Present, 179 (2003), 60-96; on property in skills, see John Rule, ’The Property of Skill in the Period of Manufacture’, in The Historical Meanings of Work, ed. by Patrick Joyce (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), pp. 99-118.

31 Pierre Richelet, Dictionnaire françois (Geneva: J.-H Widerhold, 1680) ad. voc. ’propriété’.

32 Pottage, ’The Measure of the Land’, esp. pp. 370-4.

33 Svetlana Alpers, The Art of Describing. Dutch Art in the Seventeenth Century (London: John Murray, 1983), pp. 119-68.

34 Ibid., pp. 148-9.

35 Sébastien Le Clerc, Pratique de la géométrie sur le papier et le terrain (Paris: T. Jolly, 1682), p. 2.

36 On sixteenth-century conceptions of the city in which its physical and the socio-political identities were still wholly confused, see Robert Descimon, ’Paris on the eve of Saint Bartholomew: Taxation, Privilege and Social Geography’, in Cities and Social Change in Early Modern France, ed. by Philip Benedict (London and New York: Unwin Hyman, 1989), pp. 69-104.

37 See An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), ed. by Roger Woolhouse (London: Penguin, 1997), Book II, and for the analogy of the mind to a space for taking possession and storage, see esp. pp. 123, 158.

38 See William M. Ivins, Prints and Visual Communications (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1953), pp. 71-92.

39 On Henri IV’s urban projects see Ballon, chapters 1-4.

40 Ibid., p. 233. Jacques Gomboust, in the address ’Aux lecteurs’ of his 1652 map of the capital denounced earlier ’faux plans’and ’mauvaises représentations’ in which ’L’enceinte des Murailles [est] toute corrompue. Les Courtines, flans et bastions, faux dans leurs angles et longueurs. Il y en a même d’autres imaginaires qui ne furent jamais que dans leurs Idées.’

41 Quintilian, The Orator’s Education, Books 6-8, ed. and trans. by Donald A. Russell (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001), pp. 375-81.

42 On titles, see Gérard Genette, Paratexts. Thresholds of Interpretation, trans. by Jane E. Lewin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 55-103.

43 See Ballon, p. 346, n. 53.

44 See César Chesneau, sieur Dumarsais, Des tropes ou des différents sens (1731; repr. Paris: Flammarion, 1988), pp. 133-4. See also, specifically in relation to law, Peter Goodrich, Reading the Law: A Critical Introduction to Legal Methods and Techniques (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986), p.198.

45 Archives Nationales, X1A, 8662, f.12 (31/viii/1660). See George Duplessis, ’Privilège des gravures de l’Entrée du roi en 1660 accordé à Pierre Mariette’, Nouvelles archives de l’art français (1872), 257-60.

46 BnF Ms f.f. Anisson Duperon 21949 (22/x/1708).

47 BnF Ms f.f. Anisson Duperon 21950 (30/i/1716). See also Maxime Préaud, Pierre Casselle, Marianne Grivel and Corinne Le Bitouzé, Dictionnaire des éditeurs d’estampes à Paris sous l’ancien régime (Paris: Promodis/Cercle de la librairie, 1987), ad. voc. ’Demortant’.

48 BnF Ms f.f. Anisson Duperon 21955 (18/i/1731). See also Boutier et al, pp. 242-5 (no. 206).

49 Saugrain, p. 375. See also, Martin-Dominique Fertel, La science pratique de l’imprimerie (Saint Omer: M.D. Fertel, 1723), p. 119.

50 The reference here is, of course, to Jacques Derrida’s theory of the parergon, based on a reading of Emmanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgement. See Jacques Derrida, The Truth in Painting, trans. by Geoff Bennington and Ian Mcleod (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1987) pp. 15-147.

51 The term is Antoine Compagnon’s from La seconde main (Paris: Éditions du seuil, 1979), pp. 328-9. Significantly Compagon compares the relation of the perigraphic elements to the text proper in a book to the relation of the city walls to the city.

52 The text box reads as follows: ’Extrait de Privilege./ Par grace et privilege du Roy il est permis a François Quesnel, m. Paintre a Paris desposer en vente/ la carte de la ville de Paris, citte, universite, et fauxbourgs quil a dessigner pourtraicte et faict/ graver en planches de cuivre et sont faictes deffences a toutes personnes de graver ou faire graver/ tant en cuivre qu’en bois stampes vendre ny debiter auttre carte de la ville de Paris que celle dud/ Quesnel et ce jusques au Tems de Dix ans sur peine de confiscation de ce qui deshonnera aud/ et de cinq cens escuz damande voulons en oultre qua lextrait dudict privilege on/ adiouste scy comme a son original donne a/ Paris le 4 janvier 1608/ Par le Roy en son conseil/ Veriffié et Interiné par arrest de la cour de Parlemt’. Beneath the medallion is inscribed: ’FRANCOIS QVESNEL Inventor’.

53 The terms are Genette’s from Paratextes. Genette distinguishes between liminal devices and conventions that mediate the relationship between text and the reader and are located inside the book or ’peritexts’ (titles, dedications, prefaces, epilogues etc) and those located outside the book or ’epitexts’ (advertising, reviewing etc).

54 Nicolas Schapira, ’Quand le privilège de librairie publie l’auteur’, and Claire Lévy-Lelouch, ’Quand le privilège de librairie publie le roi’, both in De la publication. Entre renaissance et lumières, ed. by Christian Jouhaud and Alain Viala (Paris: Fayard, 2002), respectively pp. 121-37, and pp. 139-59.

55 Jean-Claude Lebensztejn, ’Framing Classical Space’, Art Journal, 47 (1988), 37-41 (p. 38). See also Meyer Schapiro, ’On Some Problems in the Semiotics of Visual Art: Field and Vehicle in Image-Signs’, Simiolus (1972-3), pp. 11, 15.

56 BnF Ms f.f. Anisson Duperon, 21954 (30/vi/1728).

57 See, most recently on the drawings, Jacques Rigaud, Dessinateur de Versailles, Galerie Coatalem, rue St Honoré, Paris (14/ii-15/iii/2008), and also Charles Ginoux, Jacques Rigaud, dessinateur et graveur marseillais (Paris: E. Plon, Nourrit et Cie, 1898) who publishes a notarial contract (pp. 13-4) by which Rigaud is acknowledged as having advanced a loan of 16,000 livres at 5 % in 1753, the year before his death, a considerable sum of money.

58 ’Drawn & Engraved by J. Rigaud’.

59 ’With the King’s Privilege’.

60 BnF Ms f.f. Anisson Duperon, 21951 (14/vii/1716).

61 BnF Ms f.f. Anisson Duperon, 21950 (22/i/1713). See also Grivel, Le commerce, p. 10.

62 See Saugrain, p. 361.

63 Fagnani advertised the publication of the Receuil by subscription in the Mercure de France (March 1723), pp. 561-3.

64 Other frames were designed and etched by Sebastien Le Clerc. For a highly critical response to the aesthetic effect of the frames see Edme Gersaint, Catalogue raisonné des divers curiosités du cabinet de feu M. Quentin de Lorangère (Paris, 1744), pp. 125-7.

65 Roger de Piles, Cours de peinture par principes (Paris: Jacques Estienne, 1708), p. 99.

66 Félibien, pp. 44-5, 46.

67 The starting point for Karl Marx’s theory of reification is the section ’The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof’, in Capital. A Critique of Political Economy, vol. 1, trans. by Ben Fowles (Harmonsworth: Penguin, 1976), pp. 163-77. For Georg Lukács, see his essay, ’Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat’, in History and Class Consciousness, trans. by Rodney Livingstone (London: Merlin Press, 1971), pp. 83-222. By contrast, in sociology, reification is only a modality of consciousness and has no necessary objective conditions, is not, that is, tied to any specific mode of production. See, classically, Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann, The Social Constitution of Reality (Harmonsworth: Penguin, 1971), pp. 106-9.

68 The obvious point of contrast here is the case of gifts. See Natalie Zemon Davis, The Gift in Sixteenth-Century France (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).

69 Lukács, pp. 88-9.

70 Robert Darnton, The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History (Hamonsworth: Penguin, 1985), pp. 79-104. See also Nicolas Contat, Anecdotes typographiques où l’on voit la description des coutumes, mœurs et usages singuliers des compagnons imprimeurs, ed. by Giles Barber (Oxford: Oxford Bibliographical Society, 1980).

71 Michael Sonenscher, Work and Wages. Natural Law, Politics and the Eighteenth-Century French Trades (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), pp. 10-22.

72 See Henri-Jean Martin, Print, Power, and People in Seventeenth-Century France, trans. by David Gerard (London: Scarecrow Press, 1993), p. 481, and for the context, pp. 468-80.

73 Sonenscher, p. 15.

74 Ibid., pp. 15-6.

75 BnF Ms f.f. Anisson Duperon, 22062, f. 175; Sonenscher, p. 16.

76 See John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, ed. by Crawford Brough Macpherson (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1980), pp. 18-30, esp. §27; Birn, p. 145. There were two editions of Daniel Mazel’s translation of the Second Treatise, one publishes at Amsterdam in 1691, the other, pertinently, in 1724 at Geneva. On the reception of Locke’s thought in France, see Ross Hutchison, ’Locke in France, 1688-1734’, Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 290 (1991).

77 Héricourt, p. 22. The translations of this text are my own.

78 For a discussion of God’s bounty and man’s subsequent and divinely sanctioned lordship of the land in the form of private property, see Matthew H. Kramer, John Locke and the Origins of Private Property. Philosophical Explorations of Individualism, Community and Equality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997) pp. 93-150.

79 Héricourt, pp. 23-4.

80 Ibid., p. 27.

81 De Piles, p. 111.

82 See William Pietz, ’The Problem of the Fetish, IIIa: Bosman’s Guinea and the Enlightenment Theory of Fetishism’, Res, 16 (1988), 105-23.

83 Marx, Capital, pp. 163-77.

84 Héricourt, pp. 28-9, 35, and 40.

85 Alain Viala, ’La triple économie du littéraire’, Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 11 (2004), 19-34.

86 Nicolas Sanson, Atlas du monde, 1665, ed. by Mireille Pastoureau (Paris: Sand & Conti, 1988).

87 Mireille Pastoureau, ’Feuilles d’atlas’, in Cartes et figures de la terre (Paris: Centre Geoges Pompidou, 1980), pp. 442-54 (p. 452).

88 Peter Fuhring, ’Jean Barbet’s Livre d’architecture, d’autels et de cheminées: Drawing and Design in Seventeenth-Century France’, Burlington Magazine, 145 (2003), 421-30.

89 Grivel, Le commerce, pp. 147-50.

90 Thomas E. Kaiser in ’Money, Despotism, and Public Opinion in Early Eighteenth-Century France: John Law and the Debate on Royal Credit’, records instances where Law’s paper money was condemned as fit only to burn. See Journal of Modern History, 63 (1991), 1-28 (p. 17).

91 Lukács, pp. 86, 94, and 169.

92 Christopher May, ’The Denial of History: Reification, Intellectual Property and the Lessons of the Past’, Capital and Class: Bulletin of the Conference of Socialist Economists, 88 (2006), 33-56. According to Lukács it is the task of historical materialism to uncover that misapprehension, to undo reification and rediscover the human relations in property. See Lukács, p. 183.

93 Héricourt, p. 23.

94 Ibid., p. 24.

95 Ibid., p. 26.

96 Ordonnance de Moulins, February, 1566, art. 78. By contrast this ordinance is not among those recently selected by Bently and Kretschmer for inclusion in the digital archive of Primary Sources on Copyright 1450-1900.

97 Héricourt, pp. 24-6.

98 Ibid., p. 22.

99 See Lévy-Lelouch, ’Quand Privilège’, pp. 146-9.

100 Lévy-Lelouch’s argument is grounded on the work of Louis Marin in Le portrait du roi (Paris: Les Éditions de minuit, 1981) esp. the deuxième entrée.

101 De Piles, p. 25.

102 On trompe l’œil in France in the early modern period see especially Louis Marin, ’Initiation au trompe l’œil dans la théorie classique au xviie siècle’, in L’imitation, alienation ou source de liberté (Paris: La Documentation françiase, 1985), pp. 181-96; Le trompe l’œil: Plus vrai que nature? (Bourg-en-Bresse: Monastère royal de Brou, 2005). The artists whose work yield the most thought provoking analogies are Jean-François De Le Motte and Gaspard Gresly in both of whose works books and landscape prints by the Perelle feature prominently. Ironically in the present context, both artists were working in the provinces.

103 For a discussion and examples of the trope see Deceptions and Illusions. Five Centuries of Trompe l’œil Painting, ed. by Sybille Ebert-Schifferer (Washington: National Gallery of Art, 2002-3), pp. 109-20.

104 Héricourt, p. 24.

105 Jean Baudrillard, ’Trompe l’œil’, in Calligram: Essays in New Art History from France, ed. by Norman Bryson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), pp. 53-62.

106 On the transformation of knowledge into ’facts’ see Latour, pp. 174-5.

107 May, p. 44.

108 John Berger, ’Past Seen from a Possible Future’, in Selected Essays and Articles. The Look of Things, ed. by N. Stangos (Harmonsworth: Penguin, 1972), 211-20 (p. 216). My thanks to Julian Stallabrass for reference to this.

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 1. Pierre Vallet after François Quesnel, Map of Paris, engraving, 1609 (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris).
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/1080/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1015k
Légende Fig. 2. Pierre Vallet after François Quesnel, Map of Paris, detail of the ’Extrait de Privilege’, 1609 (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris).
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/1080/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 383k
Légende Fig. 3. Pierre Vallet after François Quesnel, Map of Paris, detail of Henri IV, 1609 (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris).
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/1080/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 379k
Légende Fig. 4. Pierre Vallet after François Quesnel, Map of Paris, detail of Faith and Law, 1609 (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris).
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/1080/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 379k
Légende Fig. 5. Jacques Rigaud, View of the Chapel of the Château of Versailles, etching, 1728 (British Museum, London).
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/1080/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 349k
Légende Fig. 6. De Rochefort after Jean-Bernard Toro, Nouveau Livre de Vases, title-page, etching, 1716 (British Museum, London).
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/1080/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 399k
Légende Fig. 7. Cochin after Jean-Bernard Toro, Design for a Vase, etching, 1716 (British Museum, London).
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/1080/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 197k
Légende Fig. 8 Jacques Callot and Nicolas Tardieu after Gilles-Marie Oppenord, Misères et Malheurs de la Guerre, etching, 1633 and 1713 (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris).
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/1080/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 523k

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