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Tuesday 18 January 2022

Jean Patricot’s engraving, “Médée et Jason”, c1899, after Gustave Moreau

Jean Patricot (aka François Auguste Jean Patricot) (1865–1928)

“Médée et Jason”, c1899, after Gustave Moreau’s (1826–1898) painting, “Jason and Medea”, 1865, in the Musée d'Orsay (inv. no. RF 2780), printed by Ch. Wittmann (fl. 1891–1907) and published in Paris, in the art periodical, “Gazette des Beaux Arts”, in 1899, inserted between pages 8 and 9 (see

The New York Public Library Digital Collections offers the following description of the scene portrayed:

“Jason has just slain the eagle-headed dragon that guards the Golden Fleece. Behind him Medea holds an alabaster jar containing the magic potion with which she put the dragon to sleep. At left is a column topped by a sphinx on which the Fleece is hung” (

Engraving on cream wove paper, trimmed around the platemark with a small margin at right and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 26.8 x 17.9 cm; (image borderline) 23.3 x 13 cm.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: (left) “Gustave Morceau pinxt./ Gazette des Beaux-Arts.”; (centre) “MÉDÉE ET JASON”; (right) “Jean Patricot sculpt./ Imp. Ch. Wittmann”.

The French Symbolist painter, Ary Renan (aka  Cornelius Ary Renan) (1857–1900), who wrote the article, “Gustave Moreau” (1899), accompanying the publication of this etching in the “Gazette des Beaux-Arts” (vol. XII) proposes (in transl.) that Patricot’s engraving “… perfectly translates the supple energy and the immense tenderness with which Moreau enlivened the heroes of his dreams.” (p. 18 []). More interesting for me, however, is the following wonderful assessment of the print in the extension of Ary Renan’s article later in the same volume of the Gazette (1899): “A jet of happy nudities within an unpolluted nature” (“Un  jet  de  nudités heureuses  au  sein  d'une  nature  impolluée”) (p. 304 []).

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression with small margins around the image borderline and laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper. The sheet is in a good condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this somewhat bizarre and beautifully executed engraving—note that there is  such an abundance of fine details in this image that should be described, but I am fascinated by the meaning linked to the talisman (or is it a handful of feathers?) held up by Jason that is “snagged” in a loop of pearls holding the ram’s head of the golden fleece to a sphinx topped column—for the total cost of AU$233 (currently US$167.59/EUR147.88/GBP123.16 at the time of posting this listing) 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 amazing engraving that is so finely treated that the delicately engraved strokes need magnification to see—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold 

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