Gallery of prints for sale

Sunday 22 January 2023

Jean François Janinet’s colour aquatint, “L’Amour”, 1777, after Fragonard

Jean François Janinet (1752–1814)

“L’Amour” (aka “The Love”), 1777, colour aquatint—an innovative process perfected by Janinet—after Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806), published in Paris by Le Père & Avaulez (fl. 1772–1779)—initially a partnership between Charles Le Père and Pierre Michel Avaulez (1772–1777), but at the time of the printing of this colour aquatint, the printery was passed on to Avaulez's widow (1777–1779), printed by Pierre Blin (fl.1786–1790). The Rijksmuseum advises that this print was created as an illustration for the “Journal de Paris” magazine, November 24, 1777 (see RP-P-1984-160).

Colour aquatint and etching with roulette work on heavy laid paper trimmed around (or slightly within) the platemark with the four holes for the colour registration still visible.

Size: (sheet) 29.2 x 20.8 cm; (oval image borderline) 21.2 x 17.8 cm.

State i? (of ii) Lifetime impression (based on the quality of the aquatint showing no sign of wear to the printing plate). I am unable to verify if this is a first state impression, but the production details are not the same as the second state impressions held by the British Museum, the National Gallery of Art or the Metropolitan Museum of Art:;;  

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: (left) “Fragonard pinx”; (centre) “L’AMOUR/ à Paris chés Janinet place Maubert Maison neuve au 1er. et rue St. Jacques à la Providence/ P [B]lin imp” (right) “f. Janinet Sculp 1777”.

IFF 33 (“Inventaire du fonds français : graveurs du dix-huitième siècle”, vol. 12, Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, p. 21, cat. no. 33.II).

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print: (transl.) “A putto among the blooming rose bushes, an arrow in his left hand. There is a quiver of arrows on the ground, two doves in the air.” (

Condition: a strong and well-printed lifetime impression with glowing colour, trimmed following the platemark (or slightly within) in good condition. Beyond a chipped upper left corner and pale age toning (darkening) along the edges, the sheet is in a very good condition for its age with no tears or significant stains. Note that the holes on the edges of the sheet are an integral part of the print as they are the registration holes for the colour printing process.

I am selling this very rare colour aquatint exemplifying the remarkable printing technique developed by Jean François Janinet involving the superimposition of multiple printing plates of different colours—note the four registration holes employed by the printer to align the different plates for the colour printing—for AU$438 (currently US$305.31/EUR281.19/GBP246.20 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 masterwork of early colour printing, 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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