Saturday 16 May 2020
Claude Augustin Duflos II’s engraving, “Epic Poetry”, c.1741, after François Boucher
Claude Augustin Duflos II (aka Claude Augustin Duflos le Jeune) (1700–1786)
“Epic Poetry” (La Poésie Épique), c.1741, from the series of four plates, “The Four Poems” (Les Quatre Poésies: La Poésie Epique, Lyrique, Satirique, Pastorale), after François Boucher (1703–1770), published by Louis Crépy (aka Louis Crespy) (1680–c.1754) in Paris.
Note that the date of this impression is possibly 1742 as this was the year that this publisher’s address was (as inscribed on plate) “rue St Jacques à Saint-Pierre près de la rue de la Parcheminerie”.
The description of this print offered by the Louvre advises that the composition is based “with some variants, in reverse, from the decoration painted in 1741 for the cabinet of medals at the National Library of France” (http://arts-graphiques.louvre.fr/detail/oeuvres/0/549109-La-poesie-epique).
Etching and engraving on laid paper, trimmed close to the platemark on the sides and along or within the platemark at the top and bottom, and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 26.8 x 26.1 cm; (image borderline) 23.7 x 23.7 cm.
Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (on banderole at left) “NON NISI GRANDIA CANTO.” (GRAND ONLY IN SONG); (on opened book at right) “L’OD/ D’HOM” (THE ODE OF MAN—but this translation may be wrong).
Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) “F. Boucher invenit.”; (left of centre) “Fameux Héros, dont je chante la gloire,/ Et sçais renouveller les grandes actions/ Avouëz que mon art, mes nobles fictions/ Rehaussent bien vôtre mémoire.”; (centre) “LA POESIE EPIQUE./ AParis Chés Crepy ruë St. Jacques/ à St. Pierre près la ruë de la/ parcheminerie.”; (right of centre) “A vos exploits, j'intéresse les Cieux;/ Par moi tout est chez vous, vertu, valeur, noblesse;/ Et vous affranchissant de l'humaine faiblesse,/ Je vous transforme en demi-Dieux/ Moraine.”; (right) “Cl. Duflos Sculp.”
The French text (in translation):
“Famous Heroes, whose glory I sing,
And know how to renew major actions
Admit that my art, my noble fictions
Enhance your memory.
To your exploits, I interest the Heavens;
Through me everything is with you, virtue, value, nobility;
And freeing yourself from human weakness,
I turn you into demi-gods.
IFF VIII.79.137 (IFF 1930–, “Inventaire du Fonds Français: Bibliothèque Nationale, Départment des Estampes”, Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, cat. no. 137, p. 79); Jean-Richard 239.925 (Jean-Richard Pierrette 1978, “L'œuvre gravé de François Boucher dans la Collection Edmond de Rothschild”, vol. I, Paris, Editions des musées nationaux, cat. no. 925, p. 239, ill); Le Blanc II.152.75-78 (Charles Le Blanc 1854–1888, “Manuel de l'amateur d'estampes: contenant le dictionnaire des graveurs de toutes les nations”, 4 vols., Paris, cat. no. 75–78, p. 152).
See the description of this print at the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
Condition: strong impression trimmed with a small margin on the sides and along the platemark on the top and bottom edges. There is a pencilled “2” on the upper-right corner (recto), a replenished chip at upper-right (almost invisible) and minor handling marks; otherwise the sheet is in excellent condition for its considerable age. The sheet has been laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.
I am selling this grandly romantic engraving after the design by Boucher exemplifying the Rococo period style, for the total cost of AU$312 (currently US$200.24/EUR185.05/GBP165.38 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 marvellous engraving showing (in my reading of this image—which may be far from correct) the luxuriously dressed female personification of poetry signified by the flame of inspiration on her head, linking a text inscribed with the ode of man to a crown that she bestows on—as the banderole beneath the crown attests—grand heroes remembered only in song, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.