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Detailed description :Antoine Watteau et l'art de l'estampe

Antoine Watteau et l'art de l'estampe

Author(s): Marie-Catherine  Sahut, Florence Raymond

€ 28.40 tax included

The painter and tireless draftsman, Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) left his mark on the 18th century with the grace and spontaneity of his art. He himself was an engraver, creating delicate etchings of which only a few rare prints remain. But it is above all to those artists who interpreted his work that we owe the existence of 600 plates of his drawings and paintings.

The initiative was the brainchild of his friend and protector Jean de Jullienne, a wealthy drapery merchant and distinguished art collector, who, from 1724 to 1735, set engravers and publishers into action to produce for sale a collection of engravings bound in four volumes, a posthumous tribute to the artist, departed all too soon. A veritable crucible of young talent, this remarkable enterprise contributed to the development throughout Europe of the rocaille style, of which Watteau was one of the main instigators.

Watteau the draftsman was well served by the talent of the young Boucher, the main interpreter of Figures de différents caractères (Figures of different characters). Some of the particularly intricate paintings such as L'Embarquement pour Cythère (The Embarkation for Cythera) and L'Enseigne de Gersaint (Gersaint's Shopsign), required the skill of practiced professionals who knew how to handle both burin and acid. Among them were some of the best engravers of the time: Tardieu, Cochin the Elder, Laurent Cars, Aveline, Le Bas, who were able to render the master's sensitive touch, the delicacy of his foliage, the shimmering quality of the light.

The Recueil Jullienne (Jullienne Collection) offers an opportunity not only to enter into Watteau's world, but also to discover an extraordinary publishing venture, born in the active circle of patrons and engraving dealers of the 18th century. To illustrate this, we have relied principally on the Edmond de Rothschild collection at the Musée du Louvre which possesses, in addition to the Recueil in four volumes, a rare collection of proofs "before letters" that are still relatively unknown. Several of Watteau's paintings and drawings, such as Les Deux Cousines (The Two Cousins) and Le Rémouleur (The Knife Grinder), are compared with the engravings they inspired. Finally, a study of the material conditions of fabrication, including transfer methods and paper quality, complete the book.

Technical details

160 pages, Paperback with large flaps, 17 x 23.5 cm


Distribution: Volumen

Publication date


Related event

This book accompanies the exhibition to be held from July 7 to October 11, 2010.


18th century
ISBN French978-2-84742-152-1
French only


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