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Thursday 13 April 2017

Léopold Flameng’s etching, "Mme Devauçay" [Duvauçay], 1867, after Ingres

Léopold Flameng (aka Léopold Joseph Flameng) (1831–1911)
"Mme Devauçay" (note that the title name is misspelt and should have been “Mme Duvauçay”), 1867, after Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres’ (1780–1867) painting of the same name in the musée Condé, Chantilly, published in “La Gazette des Beaux Arts” 1867, II, page 58, and as plate 15 in “Les chefs d’œuvre”. This impression was printed by Taneur in Paris

Engraving and etching on cream coloured chine collé laid on heavy white wove paper with margins as published.
Size: (sheet) 31.1 x 21.8 cm; (plate) 25.5  x 18.9 cm; (chine collé) 24.2 x 17.8 cm; (image borderline) 20.4 x 16 cm
Inscribed within the image with Ingres name and the date of the painting (1807).
Lettered below the image borderline: (lower left) “INGRES PINXT.” / “Les chefs-d’œuvre _ 15”; (lower centre) “Mme DEVAUÇAY”; (lower right) "LEON GLAMENG DEL & SCULP" / “Imp. Taneur, Paris.”

Delaborde 1870 119 (Henri Plon Delaborde 1870, “Ingres, sa vie, ses travaux, ses oeuvres”, Paris); Beraldi 1885-92 323 (Henri Beraldi 1885, “Les Graveurs du dix-neuvième siècle”, 12 vols plus supplement, Paris); IFF 137(“Inventaire du Fonds Français: Bibliothèque Nationale, Département des Estampes”, Paris, 1930).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Portrait of Madame Duvaucey, after Ingres: young woman, half-length, seated in armchair and facing the viewer, with hair parted down the centre, dark dress with high waist and short sleeves, drapery over left shoulder, and fan in right hand; published in 'La Gazette des Beaux-arts', 1867, II, page 58 Etching and engraving”

Condition: richly inked and well-printed impression with a printer’s mark on the right breast of the figure and a faint stain line in the lower left margin; otherwise in excellent condition.

I am selling this etching by one of the major engravers of the 19th century for AU$42 (currently US$31.88/EUR29.88/GBP25.38 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this ravishingly beautiful print, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

The beautiful sitter in this portrait is Antonia Duvaucey de Nittis and—surprise, shock, horror—Flameng misspelt her name in the lettered text. I like seeing such mistakes as I feel more relaxed when examining the incredible skill involved in reproducing Ingres’ oil painting knowing that it was executed by a chap who makes mistakes … but, what a hideous mistake!

For a bit of background on Antonia, she was the wife of captain Duvaucey and, much more exciting, the mistress of Baron Alquier, the Ambassador of France. Interestingly, her love affair with the baron was long lasting and when his wife passed away and Antonia’s husband also died, they married each other. Lovely to think that they were finally united.

Like most portraits of the rich and powerful, the figure is centred with the part of her hair drawing added attention to the formal symmetry of the composition. To express her strength of personality, Antonia is posed like a rock-steady pyramid—her head being the apex to this pyramid. Of course, here wealth is laid out for all to see: Empire styled dress with the obligatory décolleté neckline to show off her necklaces­—very restrained rather than vulgar necklaces if I may voice my opinion—and an exquisite fan. What makes this display of wealth even more riveting to the eye is the contrast of textures in the materials shown. And, if I may draw attention to the way in which Flameng renders the difference between the sheen of silk and the lusciousness of velvet, to my eyes it is this juxtaposition of different surface attributes that makes this image so decadently appealing.

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