Saturday 27 August 2016
Dupuis’s engraving after Raphael
Nicolas Gabriel Dupuis (aka Nicolas Dupuy; Dupuis junior; Dupuis le jeune) (c.1698–1771)
“Têt d'homme au turban”, 1770–20, after a painting by Raphael (1483–1520). I propose that this study is from Raphael’s “The expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple” where there is a similar figure with a turbaned head shown in reverse (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Expulsion_of_Heliodorus_from_the_Temple#/media/File:Raphael_Heliodorus.jpg)
Engraving on laid paper
Size: (sheet) 27.7 x 20.8 cm; (plate) 24 x 18 cm
Lettered in the plate: (lower left) “Raphael pinx.”; (lower right) “N. Dupuis junior Sculp.”
The British Museum offers the following description of the publication that I believe this print is from (my apologies if I am incorrect):
“Benjamin Ralph, 'The School of Raphael or the Student's Guide to expression in historical painting, illustrated by examples engraved by Duchange and others under the inspection of Sir Nicholas Dorigny from his own drawings after the most celebrated heads in the Cartoons at the King's Palace', London, printed for John Boydell, engraver, nd (but c.1800)” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=684751&partId=1&searchText=Dupuis&page=2)
Préaud, pp.114–5; IFF
Condition: good impression with light signs of wear. The sheet is in excellent condition but with a very faint smudge line at the upper left passing through the turban.
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One glance at this superb study is enough to be assured that this print is executed by a master engraver. Note, for example, the subtle tonal gradations and the technical assurance of Dupuis’ rendering of the facial features. Not only is the handling of the face beautifully executed in a delicate layering of hatched strokes, but there is also enough visual information that a sculptor could use this print to model the same head in three-dimensions. I should mention at this point that the quality of the drawing is not an incidental feature. This image was designed to be copied by amateur artists wishing to draw like Raphael and the print was once bound in a volume of similar engravings intended as drawing models.