Antique engraved portrait of Philip, Duke of Anjou and King of Spain, published for Beschreibung des gantzen Welt-Kreises, the German edition of Mallet's Description de l'Univers.
This portrait of Philip V was added after the death of King Charles II (Figure CXXXVI), whose portrait appears in both the earlier French and later German editions.
King Charles II died childless in 1700, leading to the War of the Spanish Succession between Philip V and Archduke Charles of the House of Habsburg. Philip became king, but the Kingdom of Naples, the Duchy of Milan, the Austrian Netherlands, and the Kingdom of Sardinia were ceded to Austria. The dynastic chasm between the Houses of Bourbon and Habsburg also led to a split in the Order of the Golden Fleece, the collar of which is worn here by Philip V.
Alain Mannesson Mallet (1630-1706) was a French mapmaker and engineer who served in the armies of Louis XIV. After rising through the ranks, Mallet was appointed as Inspector of Fortifications, a job which also required mathematical skills and which made him a competent military engineer. Eventually, he joined the court of Louis XIV at Versailles, where he taught math and focused on writing.
Mallet is best known for his Description de L’Univers, first published in 1683, in five volumes. A wide-ranging geographical work, the Description included textual descriptions of the countries of the world, as well as maps of the celestial sky and the ancient and modern worlds. The Description continued to be published until the early eighteenth century. He also published a work in three volumes on warfare (1684) and a primer on geometry (1702).