Émile Rousseaux (aka Émile Alfred Rousseaux) (1831–1874)
“La Marquise de Sevigné” (aka “Oval Bust of Madame de Sévigné”; “Portrait of Marie de Rabutin-Chantal” [1626–1696]—an icon of 17th-century French literature for her letter writing), 1874, after the pastel portrait (dated 1666 on plate) in the Musée Carnavalet in Paris (see https://www.carnavalet.paris.fr/fr/collections/la-marquise-de-sevigne-1626-1696-0), by Robert Nanteuil (aka Robert Nantueil) (1623–1678), published in Paris as plate 76 by the Société Française de Gravure (1868–), printed by Charles Chardon aîné (fl. mid-1800s).
Engraving with etching on chine collé (China paper) on heavy wove (Lafuma Navarre Madagascar?) paper with wide margins.
Size: (sheet) 70.9 x 52 cm; (plate) 46.8 x 35.5 cm; (chine collé) 44.2 x 32.5 cm; (image borderline) 32.1 x 24.4 cm.
Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (left) “R. Nanteuil pinxt 1666.”; (right) “E. Rousseaux sculpt 1874.”
Lettered and numbered on plate below the image borderline: (centre) “SOCIÉTÉ FRANÇAISE DE GRAVURE/ 76/ Imp. Ch. Chardon aîné, Paris.”
Béraldi 13 (Henri Béraldi 1891, “Les graveurs du 19e siècle; guide de l'amateur d'estampes modernes”, vol. 11, Paris, L. Conquet, p. 272, cat. no. 13 [see https://archive.org/details/lesgraveursdu19e11berauoft/page/272/mode/2up0]).
Henri Béraldi (1891) offers the following appraisal of this print:
(Transl.) “A remarkable plate, and one that the engravers of the seventeenth century would not deny. — What they would disavow, for example, is the use of china paper glued on paste paper for printing!” (Planche remarquable, et que les graveurs du xvne siècle n( desavoueraient pas. — Ce qu'ils desavoueraient, par exemple, c'est l'emploi du papier de Chine colle sur papier pate pour le tirage!) (p. 272).
Condition: well-printed (near faultless) impression. The sheet is an excellent condition for its age and size with no tears, holes, folds, losses, significant stains or foxing.
I am selling this huge masterpiece of engraving—a true tour de force designed to establish the reputation of the engraver who sadly passed away prematurely in the same year that he executed the plate—for AU$267 (currently US$195.12/EUR164.48/GBP146.80 at the time of this listing) including Express Mail (EMS) 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 exceptionally beautiful engraving exemplifying the highest order of skill—to my eyes the level of skill is almost unbelievable! ...note for example the engraver’s ability to visually “explain" the curling flow of each hair in the marquise’s hurluberlu coiffure, the mathematical precision of rendering her widow’s attifet (headdress) and the transparently thin fabric of her bertha contrasting with the satin sheen of the bows—please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
This print has been sold