"Une Lecture", c1822
Lithograph on chine-collé on wove paper
Size: (sheet) 26.6 x 17.4 cm; (image) 18.6 x 14.8 cm
Lettered with production detail: 'Prud'hon inv. et del.', title, and name of printer.
State iv (of iv)
Goncourt 7 (IV/IV), Béraldi 2, Sanchez & Seydoux 1870-4.
The British Museum curator offers the following description of this print: “woman sitting in an armchair near a window with open book on her knees, turns round and kisses a dove.” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1365644&partId=1&searchText=Prud'hon+lecture&page=1)
The curator of the British Museum offers the following information: "Dated c.1822 by Clément; the present copy of the print was published at a later date in the 'Gazette des Beaux-Arts'." (ibid)
Condition: crisp impression in near pristine condition with small margins.
I am selling this extremely rare, curious and highly romantic original lithograph for a total cost of AU$126 (currently US$93.94/EUR85.76/GBP71.77 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. If you are interested in purchasing this intriguing image, please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make your payment easy.
(Note that Southby's in their 2015 Bernheimer Day Sale, item 431, offer auction estimate of GBP500 — 700 for this print; see http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/2015/bernheimer-day-sale-l15043.html)
Although my knowledge about the meaning of this allegory is cloudy I can at least share the broad symbolic meaning of what a girl holding or intimately engaging with a dove means: lost innocence.
Perhaps the significance of this image relates to Prud’hon’s personal life. For instance, I know that he had a traumatic love affair with one of his ex-pupils, Constance Mayer, who committed suicide in his studio by slitting her throat with a razor after learning that Prud’hon intended to honour his former wife’s wish by choosing to never marry again. I also understand that they are now buried together in the same tomb and so this tragic story may have relevance to this image, but I really don’t know for certain.
For those who may concur that the image may be linked to Prud’hon’s tragedy, the woman portrayed in the print also bears a striking resemblance to Constance Mayer. It’s all so sad …
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