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Friday 10 November 2017

Ignace Duvivier’s etching, “Landscape in Oval with Travelers on Bridge”, 1800

Ignace Duvivier (aka Ignaz Duvivier; Joseph Ignace Duvivier; Ignace Vivier; Ignace "du" Vivier; Matthäus Ignaz [Edler von] Vivier) (1758–1832)

“Landscape in Oval with Travelers on Bridge”, 1800, from the series of four oval landscape etchings, "Divers sujets de paisages dessiné et gravé par I. Viviers 1800". Note: the title page to the series is signed, titled and dated (1800).

Etching on cream laid paper with margins (as published?)
Size: (sheet) 22.2 x 29.5 cm; (plate) 16.4 x 24 cm; (oval borderline) 15 x 19.9 cm

Condition: richly inked, crisp impression—undoubtedly a lifetime impression based on the superb quality of the printed lines—with generous margins and in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing). There are pencil notations (recto and verso) giving details about the print.

I am selling this visually striking and poetically romantic etching of a bevy of travellers on a curved bridge in a mountainous landscape framed within the curve of an oval borderline for the total cost of [deleted] including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this rare etching, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy. 

This print has been sold

I suspect that many folk like round and oval images simply because they are just that little bit different, especially after seeing so many rectangular images in everyday life. Indeed, I wonder if we even register that the format shape of a rectangular picture is rectangular (i.e. quado) at all—the shape is psychologically invisible.

Certainly, a round/circular image (i.e. tondo) catches the eye and I understand that during the early Renaissance this shape was deemed “the shape of cosmic perfection” (see Rudolf Arnheim’s “The Power of the Center: A Study of Composition in the Visual Arts” [1983]). As the fascination with divine symmetry faded, the use of oval formats (i.e. ovato tondi [oval tondi]) became increasingly popular especially during the Mannerism and Baroque periods. I mention this shift from the “cosmic perfection” of the tondi to the Baroque excess of the ovato tondi because the key feature of this marvellous etching is the Duvivier’s free use of line. In short, I equate the nervous energy of Duvivier’s line work as being a perfect complement to the oval frame.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, another artist to add to my favorites list!
    Thanks Gordon.


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