Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Charles Clément Bervic’s engraving, “L'Education d'Achille”, after Jean Baptiste Regnault’s painting


Charles Clément Bervic (aka Jean Guillaume Balvay) (1756–1822)
“L'Education d'Achille” (The Education of Achilles), 1798, printed by Ramboz (fl. 1793 - 1830), published by Charles Clément Bervic, after the painting of the same name by Jean Baptiste Regnault (1754–1829). This print is from a pair of related engravings by Bervic. The other engraving is “L'Enlèvement de Déjanire” executed in 1802 after a painting by Guido Reni (1575–1642); see an image of this print at:  http://www.dessins-magnin.fr/html/8/selection/page_notice-ok.php?Ident=D&NoticeId=447

Engraving on heavy wove paper trimmed within the platemark and lined on a conservator’s support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 58.9 x 39.2 cm; (image borderline) 46.2 x 36.5 cm
Lettered with production detail, date of registration ("XIX Germinal de l'an VI", 8 April 1798), publication address: "chez Bervic, Galerie du Muséum No.12", and title.

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Chiron teaching Achilles how to shoot an arrow. 1798 Engraving” and the BM curator offers the following information: “Advertised in 'Moniteur'. 3 Brumaire an VII (3 October 1798); after a painting executed c.1754 and now in the Musée du Louvre, Paris.” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1430177&partId=1&searchText=bervic&page=1)
IFF 11.II (Inventaire du Fonds Français: Bibliothèque Nationale, Département des Estampes, Paris, 1930)

Condition: This is a large print trimmed within the plate mark (except at the lower edge where the plate mark is clearly visible). The impression is richly inked, well printed and exceptionally crisp. The sheet, however, is in a poor condition with a few significant tears (with restorations) that mainly occur beyond the image borderline. To help address these issues, the print is supported on a sheet of fine washi paper.

I am selling this grand engraving of magnificent quality for the total cost of AU$204 (currently US$148.16/EUR142.11/GBP119.67 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this eye-catching print of the most intelligent centaur of all centaurs named Chiron teaching the young Achilles how to hunt, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy. 


Bervic is one of the elite reproductive engravers (i.e. printmakers that copy other artists’ works for publication) of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The British Museum advises that his entire oeuvre consists of only fifteen plates—a number that is inconsistent with Henri Beraldi’s list in “Les Graveurs du XIXe sièle (1981) that cites nineteen plates. Regardless of the number of plates executed by Bervic, this print may be his finest and it is certainly his most celebrated in terms of reproducing a work of a contemporary painter (Regnault). Indeed, the print was so widely acclaimed at the time that it “secured Jean-Baptiste Regnault’s election to the Academy in 1783” (see Stephen Bann’s (2001) account in “Parallel Lines” [p. 178]).

Arguably, the attribute of Bervic’s skill that sets him apart from many of his fellow engravers is what is termed “moëlleus” (i.e. softness) as seen here in the subtle modelling of the figures.







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