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Thursday 15 September 2022

François Joullain’s etching with engraving, “Portrait of François Desportes”, 1733, after Desportes’ self-portrait

François Joullain (aka François Joulain; François Joulin) (1697–1778)

“Portrait of François Desportes” (aka “Portret van Alexandre-François Desportes na de jach” [Rijksmuseum title]), 1733, etching after the self-portrait, “Autoportrait en Chasseur” (c1699) in the Louvre (inv. no. 3899) by François Desportes (aka Alexandre-François Desportes) 1661–1743)—a painter of animals, flowers and to a lesser extent portraits—published with Royal privilege in Paris by Nicolas Gautrot (aka Gautrot & Joullain) (–1739), with two columns of verses by Ferrarois engraved by Desbrulins (fl. 1733): (transl.) “The sublime genius of this worthy Hunter/ Will always make people admire his virtues …”.

Note that there are a few significant compositional differences between Desportes’ painting and Joullain’s interpretation of it in line. These changes may be the outcome of Desportes’ guiding advice to Joullain as he worked on the print; mindful that the inscribed text states: “gravé par JOULLAIN, sous la conduite de l'Auteur”.

Etching and engraving trimmed along (or slightly within) the platemark and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (support sheet) 67.8 x 51.8 cm; (sheet) 51.8 x 38.2 cm; (image borderline) 45.6 x 37 cm.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: (left) “De ce digne Chasseur le sublime genie/ Fera dan tous les tems admirer ses vertus;/ Il sait aux Animaux sous ses coups abatus/ Donner apres leur mort une nouvelle vie:/ À Paris chez Gautrot, et Joullain, quay de la Mégisserie, à la Ville de Rome.”; (centre) “FRANÇOIS DESPORTES,/ Peintre ordinaire du ROY, Conseiller enson/ Académie Royale de Peinture & Sculpture;/ Peint par lui mème pour sa réception à l'Académie en 1699:/ et gravé par JOULLAIN, sous la conduite de l'Auteur, en/ 1733./ Avec Privilege du ROY.”; (right) "Empruntant de son Art ce qu’il a de plus beau,/ Il s’est rendu parlant dans sa propre peinture;/ Et dans tous ses Tableaux rival de la Nature,/ Avec eux il a sû s’afranchir du tombeau./ Desbruslins scrip. […] Ferrarois.”

State ii (of ii).

IFF 38.II (Département des Estampes 1930–, “Inventaire du Fonds Francais Après 1800”, vol. 12, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, p. 176, cat. no. 38).

The British Museum and the Rijksmuseum offer descriptions of this print:;

See also the insights about François Joullain and a brief discussion of this print offered by Henri Béraldi (1881, vol.2 [pt.2], pp. 194–97):

Condition: a strong impression trimmed slightly within the platemark and laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper providing wide margins. The sheet is in a very good condition for its large size and age with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this large and finely executed etching (with engraving) after the self-portrait by Desportes executed for his “réception” at the Academy in 1699 (as inscribed in the plate), for the total cost of AU$324 (currently US$218.95/EUR219.45/GBP189.96 at the time of 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 superb portrait that Ferrarois insightfully declares, in his verses below the image, that the artist made himself speak in his own painting (“Il s’est rendu parlant dans sa propre peinture”), please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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