Overthrow of Christian Morality by the Disorders of Monasticism

Renversement de la Morale chretienne par les desordres du Monachisme. Enrichi de Figures. Premiere Partie. Overthrow of Christian morality by the disorders of Monasticism. Enriched with Figures. First part. [all published.] On les vend en Hollande, chez le Marchands Libraires & Imagers. Avec Privilege d’Innocent XI. Omstootinge der christelyke Zeden. Door de wan-schik ongeregeltheden der Moniken. Holland [Switzerland, n.p.], ca. 1780. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2021- in process

Originally published in Amsterdam, perhaps as early as 1676 with the title Renversement de la morale Chretienne par les desordres du Monachisme = Omstootinge der Christelyke zeden. Door de wan-schik en ongeregeltheden der moniken, this series of engravings caricature Jesuits and other religious figures. A variant edition, seen here, published approximately 1780 was recently acquired by the Graphic Arts Collection.

The plates have been attributed to or copied from Cornelis Dusart (1660-1704), although the frontispiece in this volume is engraved after Romeyn de Hooghe (1645-1708). Readers were delighted with these portraits of monks drinking and carrying on, which led to their reissue in both general trade and secret pirated editions for more than 100 years. It should be noted that the nuns present equally bad behavior and are rightfully caricatured alongside the priests.

“The first twenty-five plates are prefaced by explanatory text in French and Dutch, the second twenty-five just by French verse. The second series is even more vicious than the first, depicting clerics with foxlike cunning, ready to cut a purse and appropriate money etc. They are listed under headings such as the Insatiable, the Cunning, the Seditious, the Idolator, the Superstitious, etc.”

Compare these plates with Dusart’s Les Héros de la ligue. Ou, La procession monacale. Conduitte par Louis XIV, pour la conversion des protestans de son royaume (The Heroes of the League: Or, The Monastic Procession. Led by Louis XIV for the Conversion of Protestants in his Kingdom) from 1691: https://graphicarts.princeton.edu/2015/04/15/les-heros-de-la-ligue/

l’abrégé du faux clergé romain = Summary of the false Roman clergy