Gallery of prints for sale

Sunday 21 March 2021

Philip James de Loutherbourg's etching, “Tranquillité Champêtre”, c1767

Philip James de Loutherbourg (aka Philipp Jakob Loutherburg; Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg) (1740–1812)

“Tranquillité Champêtre” (Country tranquillity) (aka “Fluitspelende herder” [Flute-playing shepherd]), c1767, after the pen and brown ink with wash, over graphite drawing by De Loutherbourg in the collection of the British Museum (see This etching is part of a pair of prints; see the pendant print, “La Bonne Petite Soeur”, held by the British Museum:

Etching on China or early wove paper trimmed around the image borderline on the top and sides while retaining the publication details below the image borderline (but with loss of four French verses and coat of arms), backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 27.6 x 21.3 cm.

Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left, partly erased) “Dessiné et gravé par P. J. Loutherbourg Peintre du Roi”.

There may be a case for attributing this impression to state i (of iv) given that the upper section of the coat of arms that is added in state ii is not visible despite the print having been trimmed (see a state ii impression held by the BM: Nevertheless, there is the faintest trace of erased linework in the area that the coat of arms occupied. Consequently, I attribute this impression to a later state published in the early 1800s when the use of wove paper was common—mindful that the use of wove paper was used in publications dating back to 1757.

Portalis & Beraldi 4 (Roger Portalis & Henri Béraldi 1880–82, “Les graveurs du dix-huitième siècle”, Paris, Damascène Morgand et Charles Fatout, p. 752, cat. no. 4); Baudicour 1859–61 II.247.I (P de Baudicour 1859–61, “Le Peintre-Graveur Français continue”, 2 vols, Paris).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:

“young shepherd, seated with his legs stretched out before him, playing flute; beside him, goats, sheep and cow, all lying, except for a standing cow, seen from behind”


See also the description of this print offered by the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: a strong, richly inked and well-printed impression trimmed around the image borderline on the top and side but retaining the upper line of publication details below the image borderline. The sheet in a very good condition and has been laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this Berchem inspired etching of rural bliss executed by the artist that is famous for creating the Eidophusikon—one of the first moving picture productions (albeit with mirrors and pulleys rather than celluloid photographic film)—for the total cost of AU$266 (currently US$206.04/EUR173.03/GBP148.55 at the time of posting this print) 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 superb etching showcasing how farm workers in the 1700s were believed to spend their time (i.e. playing on their aulos instead of doing “real” work), please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

Note that this is the second copy of this print that I have listed. The earlier impression has been sold.

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