Gallery of prints for sale

Monday, 1 June 2020

Comte de Caylus & Nicolas Le Sueur, “St François Xavier Mourant”, 1729


Comte de Caylus (aka Anne Claude Philippe de Tubières, Comte de Caylus) (1692– 1765) in collaboration with Nicolas Le Sueur (1690–1764)

“St François Xavier Mourant” (aka “The Death of St Francis Xavier”), 1729, from the series, “Recueil d'estampes d'après les plus beaux tableaux et d'après les plus beaux desseins qui sont en France” (Collection of prints from the most beautiful paintings and from the most beautiful designs that are in France) (aka “Recueil Crozat”; “Cabinet Crozat”), after a drawing (c.1729/64) by Lodovico Gimignani (1643–1697), published by François Basan (1723–1797) in 1764.

Regarding the publication of this print, the Curator of the British Museum advises that the print is from:
“… a series of plates commissioned by Crozat [Pierre Crozat (1665–1740)] … reproducing famous paintings and drawings of the era; 140 plates were published in 1729. A second volume formed by 42 prints (instead of the 110 plates initially planned) was issued in 1740.
After Crozat's death, the plates were sold to a company of booksellers who commissioned Mariette to reorganize the 'Recueil'; Mariette divided the plates into two volumes, added some missing descriptions, and advertised the set to the public in 1742.
In 1764, Basan [François Basan (1723–1797)] bought the plates and the text, and republished the 'Recueil', but replaced the woodcuts by intaglio prints. … where an attempt to imitate the effect of a chiaroscuro woodcut is made by using aquatint instead …”

Etching and aquatint imitating a chiaroscuro woodcut, printed in two shades of brown with a small margin around the plate mark on the top and sides and trimmed along the platemark (or slightly with it) on the lower edge, backed with a support sheet. The verso of the sheet has the collection stamp of Johann Balthasar Bullinger the Elder (1713–1793) (Lugt 3292).

Size: (sheet trimmed unevenly) 51 x 32.4 cm; (image borderline) 47.7 x 30.6 cm.
Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (centre) “St. Francoix Xavier mourant/ D'apres le dessein de Louis Giminiani, qui est dans le Cabinet de Mr. Crozat/ Gravé à l'eau forte par Mr. le C.. de C... et en bois sous sa conduite par Nicolas le Sueur"; (right) "128".

IFF 282 (Inventaire du Fonds Français: Bibliothèque Nationale, Département des Estampes).
See descriptions of this print offered by the British Museum and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BnF Gallica):

Condition: strong and well-printed impression with a small margin around the plate mark on the top and sides and trimmed along the platemark (or slightly with it) on the lower edge. There is a restored fractured lower left corner and surface discolouration on the margins; otherwise the print is in very good condition for its considerable age and is laid upon a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The verso has the collection ink stamp of Johann Balthasar Bullinger the Elder (1713–1793) (Lugt 3292).

I am selling this curiosity of an intaglio print (viz. etching with aquatint) that is skilfully crafted to imitate the attributes/“look” of a chiaroscuro woodcut (i.e. a woodcut involving more than one tone of a colour) for AU$254 (currently US$171.06/EUR154.86/GBP138.12 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this technically important print showcasing a somewhat deceptive practice of the 18th century, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy. (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).











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