SAS 114 LOr de Moscou (French Edition)
Jacques, where he would have received in the encouragements of his neighbour, Mariette; then in the rue du Foin 4 near St. Severin, until the great extension of his trade forced him to seek larger quarters. His domestic troubles may also have contributed to make him desire the change. II me fait bien de la peine, car il ne merite pas ce qui lui est arrive. Wille, November 16th, He plays the host at suppers and dinners of which it is always recorded that there was much laughter and good cheer, Boucher dines with him to meet Wille 1 and on another occasion he enter- tains the whole Wille family, the Chereau and M.
Aubin, de Longueil, Simonet, Masquelier and Baquoy. The enterprise was, however, the cause of a serious quarrel between Basan and Noel Le Mire, who finally appealed to Wille and three other experts to compose their differences. It places the credit of his taste and judgement on a level with his reputation as a brilliant man of business, and Mariette himself may well have given his approval to its pages.
Wille, February 13th, Neither before nor after had he anything to handle of like importance. With the sale of the collections of an amateur of Amsterdam named Neyman, Basan — encouraged probably by the success of the set of little engravings which accompanied the sale of the collection of the Duke de Choiseul — inaugurated the system, since popular, of illustrated catalogues.
The Neyman and Poullain sales seem to have decided Wille to sell all his pictures and such drawings as he had in portfolios. Basan whose reappearance receives no comment , M. Poig- nant 2 and others may be connected with the final settlement of the operations at the Salle des Ventes.
It was certainly no ordinary occasion, for the host adds: Basan, and was associated with her father in his business. Wille, June 4th, Basan et Chereau, avoient quitte le commerce. In December of the following year Regnault-Delalande organized the sale of the collections which had made the old hotel of the rue Serpente one of the sights of Paris. Mariette had lived his life, as it were, to himself; we are told that he hid his treasures as a miser would his gold 3 and did not willingly open his portfolios except to those whose taste and judgement he respeCted — a sentiment which appeals to every collector ; for who has not suffered anguish at seeing damp thumbs pressed on bronze medals ; prints handled by the wrong ends, and books pulled from their shelves and laid open with a display of total ignorance as to the constitution of their backs!
To such distresses Basan, whose house was genially open to every visitor, must have been continually exposed. They speak of the great sale-room on the ground floor, where Basan left on view the pictures, prints and curiosities entrusted to him ; on the first floor they note the atelier of the engravers working for the house, and near to it the atelier of Basan himself — the gallery, shown us in a little engraving by Choffard, 4 where he hung all his collections of engravings, paint- ings and drawings.
Wille, May 26th, Basan is represented surrounded by all his works and encouraged by Mercury, the god of commerce. If one dwells on the character and interests of Mariette, who traded and pub- lished and made fortune as his fathers had done before him, one is struck by its dignity and the immense services rendered to art by his sincerity and erudition ; if we turn from Mariette to the men who handle beautiful things now, there is a great gulf.
It is bridged by Basan. By his clever substitution of intelligence for personal taste, by his dexterity in business, his quickness to feel the pulse of the public and take advantage of the market, he may be rivalled but can scarcely be outdone by his successors of to-day. He came of a family of engravers. His first lessons were received from his father and mother, for Cochin pere 2 had married Louise- Madelaine Horthemels, and she — as did her two sisters, Mme.
Belle — worked regularly with her husband. Cochin pere had an admirable tadt in seizing the spirit and style of the very dissimilar masters after whom he engraved. Celle de ladite Princesse, a S. April 29th, ; R. November 27th and December 4th, From the Catalogue of his work by Jombert, we learn that he gave P. See Salons of and August 31st, , on portraits of Lesueur and Sarrazin, Chal.
He exhibited at the Salons of , ,! Under his name is grouped an innumerable variety of book-illustrations, fashion plates, trade cards, ornament, book- stamps and portraits of all the celebrities of the century. In the letter which he wrote with the copy sent to Marigny, Jombert says: If, however, we could add to the list all the work which he produced during the last twenty years of his life we should reach a more startling figure. This work, which was finished by his mother, seems to have led to his employment on an engraving in commemoration of the entertainment given at Meudon to the little Dauphin, in December, , by the Duke of Orleans.
The engraving was exhibited at the Salon of 1 As soon as it was finished, I showed it to M. He seemed to want it so keenly, he who was cold and undemon- strative, that I gave it him. It was exhibited in , and it is interesting to find that it attracted the notice of Bouchardon. It was not, as Cochin tells us, until that the expenditure on royal shows became considerable. This magnificent drawing was one of the most important of the Miihlbacher colledtion, and was admirably reproduced in the catalogue of the sale No. He had, however, to suffer in more than one way from the ignorance and carelessness of his superiors.
Anxious as to the effedt of his work, he had selected the printer to be employed by de Bonneval: The printer got drunk and set an incompetent sub- ordinate to do his work, with the result that before a hundred proofs were pulled, the plates, which had been delicately engraved by Cochin pere, were worn out. Cochin had then left for Italy, for his drawings had not missed their due effedl ; they had brought him the favour 1 M 6 m.
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Madame de Pompadour could have chosen no more delightful companion for her brother than Cochin. He was not only full of wit and talent, but he had the manners which made him possible at Court and he knew a good deal. Not indeed very exactly, as a curious passage in one of his letters from Italy bears witness.
The letter is in other respetts full of interest, for the writer criticises chiefs of the contemporary Italian school: Nous avions vu et vu avec reflexion. Le ridicule nous parut a tous bien sensible et nous ne nous en tumes point. To a man so assured of court favour nothing could be refused, and the Academy hastened to receive Cochin, although his diploma work was still in abeyance. On the 27th November, , Coypel informed the Society that the work which their associate, M.
Cochin, had been obliged to take in hand for the King, and specially his tour in Italy with M. The letter is preserved in the Egerton MSS. There are various editions of these works. Cochin was on the spot received Academician without any diploma work, and simply contented himself with giving a leCture in the following spring March 4th, on the advantages of an Italian tour. Coypel seems to have been prompted by something like a touch of gentle irony when he replied that all depended on the person: His fellow members felt that they could not have a better representative.
He himself was so deeply touched by his appoint- ment that he was obliged to read instead of speaking his thanks and acknowledgements: Mariette, whilst observing that, as far as concerned the Academy, Marigny did nothing except what Cochin told him, adds that this flattering position had its disadvantages, for it induced Cochin to sacrifice his special gifts: After his return from Italy, but before he ceased to engrave, Cochin undertook, in concert with M.
He had attached himself to Darcy the banker, and had induced him, as well as one of his confreres , to finance the undertaking. To these there joined himself a M. Other drawings for this work appeared at the Salons of , and It is said that the frontispiece only is etched by Cochin fils, and that the other engravings signed C. Cochin are all by his father.
Mais la partie tipographique etoit importante, et M. The smallest printer knew more than they did. On the death of his father he had 1 Mim. The work was begun in and ended in Wille writes on the 4th Oftober of that year: Elle demeuroit avec M. Elle avoit quatre-vingt sept ans, et il y avoit bien vingt- sept ans que je la connoissois et estimois infiniment. If we look only at the innumerable portraits which he drew, we feel that they might represent the labour of a lifetime. Not a celebrated man, nor charming woman of his day, has escaped the delicate pencil which records their features for us — generally in profile — with a sincerity invariably tempered by kindly sympathy.
The work which he did for Marigny in connexion with his admini- stration of the Fine Arts was onerous and often ungrateful. The truth is that Cochin was great in handling scenes of his 1 There is a great difference between the beauty of the impressions in the early copies. There are six illustrations engraved by Augustin de St. Morea [rtV] Le j. All are engraved by Prdvost, and on two he has added the date 1 Of classic story and mythology his conceptions were vague and unmeaning ; he had no more imagination than Boucher ; but let him only touch the pulse of those who breathe the same air as himself and he receives instant inspiration.
Every head is drawn with as much care as if it were the subject of independent study, such as that bestowed in on the masterly portrait of Fenouillot de Falbaire, 1 now in Mr. Wille, who always had an eye to business, writes on the 11th October, Vernet, he bien, je vais faire un essay pour tenter de les continuer. Two others, giving different views of the port and town of Rouen, were also executed by Cochin, but the engraving of one, at least, was not finished when he died, for in his will, dated April 28th, , the day before his death, special provision was made for its completion.
Hecquet, 2 avocat, faisoient graver en societe. Cette societe etant rompue par la mort de M. Cochin, les heritiers de celui-cy sont en dispute avec M. Duplessis, has appended a note to the effedt that these two planches were probably never finished ; that there is no mention made of them anywhere ; and that in spite of every search he has been unable to find a single proof.
They were, however, most certainly finished and exhibited. Cochin and engraved under the direction of Le Bas and Choffard. The two engravings are, we are told, the Nos. He did not love Cochin, perhaps because he owed him so much. The engravings are of unequal merit, but some are very happy. Brilliant talk and good company did no such injury to his art as was in- flicted by the pernicious classicisms and allegories which he brought back from Italy.
They were more probably necessary to its per- fection. It is probably this feature that impressed M. Je ne veux point me preparer de nouveaux chagrins tels que ceux de M. However, in this respedt I have lost nothing. It is true that I keep these things more stridtly than I do my own goods. Marigny seems to have always required the attendance of Cochin when making visits to studios. Basseporte, du jardin du roi. His pension from the King had been always in arrears ; his readiness to oblige had led him to take gratuitous work which absorbed a third of his time, and besides the charge of the cousin who had so ill requited his generosity, he had the care and maintenance of the sister who could do nothing for herself, as well as that of an aged housekeeper and other old servants — in all, it seems, some eight or ten persons looked to him for support.
Out of his great loss he could recover nothing. His fine library alone remained to him, but in the troubled days of revolutionary ferment it was impossible to find a purchaser. In these hard circumstances he died. Le secretaire inscrivit seulement sur les registres la mort de M. Cochin, chevalier de Saint Michel, dessinateur et graveur du roy, decede deux jours auparavant, age de soixante- quinze ans et quelques mois.
Vincent, and the other allotted to M. Dumont, 3 whom we have lately received as a member of the Academy and who does little minia- tures. The variety of purpose which claimed the services of the engraver as the years went by demanded variety of method, but the training of the elder school gave to the elegances of later eighteenth-century work that irreproachable distinction which is not the least of its claims to consideration.
The teaching of Gerard Audran was better assimilated by his pupil, Pierre Drevet, 3 than by any member of his own family.www.stringrecordings.com/img/autobiographies/clovenstone.php
Full text of "French engravers and draughtsmen of the XVIIIth century"
No better work of its kind exists than the superb series of portraits which Pierre Drevet engraved after Rigaud 4 and Largilliere. Beginning with that of Maximilien Titon and the young Duke de Lesdiguieres, 5 we pass to those of Felibien des Avaux and of Colbert, archbishop of Rouen, which are even superior to the two celebrated portraits of Louis XIV. The most complete account of the family of engravers to which Pierre Drevet belonged was given by M. He lived in the Luxembourg with Claude.
He was the son of Jean Audran, who lived at the Gobelins. He began, like most young engravers, by doing portraits for Odieuvre, but we find his name on various prints after Watteau. The picture itself is No. T Arch, des Arts, , pp. See also Jal, usually a trustworthy source of information. His training, which had be- gun under Germain Audran at Lyons, 2 was completed in the school of the famous Gerard Audran in Paris, but he was forty when we first find his name on the books of the Academy. Up to that time his situation must have been rather uncertain, yet, amongst the engravings executed by him, under the protection of Gerard Audran, there are several that must rank with his best work.
At the beginning of the century a special impulse was given to their production by their selection as the subjeCt for the diploma works of engravers. He had presented himself on the 28th September, , and was obliged to claim the protection of the Society, two years later, 4 against the vexations of the imprimeurs en taille douce , who were unwilling to recognize the freedom of an agree. In spite of this need for protection there was an immense delay before Pierre Drevet fulfilled his obligations.
The portrait of Robert de Cotte, after Rigaud — proposed in — he undertook to engrave in , but it was not delivered by him until fifteen years later. Germain was the son of Claude le pCre and brother of GCrard, but an indifferent workman who never left Lyons A. Pierre-Imbert Drevet, after Rigaud. The same obligations were imposed on Drevet le fils, 1 when he The in his turn presented himself. In the great series of their work it would be difficult to separate that of the father from that of the son, or that of either from that which they produced together, were it not for the evidence of dates and signatures.
Throughout his life the father had had the command, as engraver, of all the most important work that was produced in France. His son had, therefore, before his eyes, from his earliest days, examples of a class calculated to stimulate his re- markable talent. As Mariette tells us, he received from his father daily lessons, not only in skill but in unwearying patience and conscientious devotion to his exacting art.
If he could only attain his ends, he counted as nothing the time and the labour — often mere drudgery — which he had to give to his work. Pierre-Imbert, thus trained, distinguished himself at an age when others are but feeling their way. There is the same brilliancy, the same economy of means, the same freedom and breadth in the treatment of the voluminous draperies — in which his model, Rigaud, delighted — and the same delicate precision in the rendering of head and hands.
These admirable characteristics distinguish his even more celebrated portrait of Adrienne Lecouvreur, executed in She had died on the 20th March in that year. On the 24th Mathieu Marais writes: He was succeeded in his lodgings in the Louvre by his cousin Claude, who was an indifferent charadter and produced very little.
He died in N. Had it been a less remarkable work, the pathetic nature of the circumstances under which it was produced would no doubt have given to this engraving a great popular value: One usually expeCts to find that the engraver has himself made the drawing from which he has worked, but, in this instance, the painter per- formed this task, and performed it as Rigaud alone was capable of doing.
As far as the dates can be pieced together, it was in that he suffered the sunstroke, during a fete at Versailles, which for a time deprived him of reason and from which he never completely recovered. If this is correCt, then this fine portrait must have been executed, with the help possibly of his father, during an interval of suffering. With him the last representative of what one may call the fixity of style which was a mark of the school of Gerard Audran passed away, nor can one speak of any who succeeded him as showing the same faith in and perfect intelligence of the resources of pure line.
Simon Vallee was not the only one in whom at this date a certain impatience of the long labour imposed by work in pure line declared itself. The use of the process of etching for the preparation of the plate had had the authority of Gerard Audran, but gradually the temper of the day sought out more adventurous methods.
He does not seem to have been received by the Academy, having left France for England, where he joined Dubose, Beauvais and Bernard Lepicie. He assisted to engrave the cartoons of Raphael at Hampton Court ; his name appears also on a print of George I. Curious details of his agreement to engrave the Louis XV. Lemoyne at Rennes are given in A. This fine print, dignified and sound in execution, has yet a somewhat commonplace aspeCt if one sets it beside the work of either of the Drevet. It is amazing to learn that Rigaud, who had been so brilliantly interpreted by the father and son, should have cooled towards them in his later years.
He imagined, it is said, that they ceased to pay him as much respeCt and to serve him with as much zeal. A pupil of Le Bas. He was not only a remarkable engraver, but knew a great deal about his art. Mariette gives date of birth 1 7 1 1 ; Portalis and Beraldi, May 18th, Pierre-Imbert Drevet, after Coypel. No more taking subject could have been found than that in which Rigaud has represented himself painting the portrait of his wife, Elisabeth de Gouy.
De Caylus himself had probably commissioned the engraving of this portrait of his mother at not too high a price, and it enjoyed a success which again may have owed something to the attractions of the original. It contributed to cause that press of work which obliged Daulle to seek for outside help in order to fulfil his engagements. In his own time he worked on the engraving — from which he hoped to build up 1 Ex. They are dedicated to the Count de Briihl.
Ville dont la vue. Then, says Cochin, de Caylus went off to Daulle and bullied him until he managed to get from him a written undertaking to engrave the pidture for 4, It. When the work approached its termination, nobody was satis- fied. Daulle had soon discovered that, even working as hastily and as slightly as he could, it was impossible not to be a loser.
On June 27th, , he writes: His portrait by Roslin was engraved by Nicolas Dupuis. He therefore demanded some sort of compensation. The General, supported by de Caylus, appealed to the terms of the agreement. Finally Mariette was put between the two to see if it were not possible to arrange the matter. Betsky, who had doubtless intended to pay his court to the Empress Elizabeth by a flattering image of her friend, found fault especially with the head of the figure, whereupon Cochin, ever ready to oblige, offered to retouch the proofs, hoping probably that if Betsky and the bureau of amateurs were content, Daulle might obtain some satisfaction.
On this point Cochin found Caylus deaf to all entreaties. He insisted on holding Daulle to the original agreement, although, as Daulle said, it had been extorted from him. In vain Cochin proved to him that thirty years earlier the price of such work would not have been less than 6, 1. Sa mort 1 Cochin wound up with: It is on January 3rd, He notes admiringly that Daulle was never ill and was an extremely rapid worker ; then adds that his work reckons nearly three hundred pieces, amongst which are many of great reputation, well-executed and much sought after.
Daulle cannot be accused in this instance of haste, or of having scamped his work in order to get the better of a bad bargain, but the moment we look at the 1 Ex. The Drevet and Jean- Francois Daulle. Nor, indeed, are any later works of this class, on the same scale, worthy to be compared with those of the Drevet and Francis Chereau. Under the magnifying glass we see that the method of execu- tion in these microscopic chefs-d oeuvre is identically the same as that employed by the great masters of line. That is exactly how Drevet has rendered the superb character and expression of his Samuel Bernard: He is, as it were, preoccupied by his own skill ; his lines succeed each other with marvellous mechanical regularity, and his calculated excellence of craft is so obvious that one might almost suppose that this alone detracts from the importance of the head in all his portraits, even in those done under the direction of Rigaud.
Daulle and men of his type took no exadt account of the difficulties they encountered. The pure sincerity of their great predecessors was unknown to them. Nicolas Dupuis, after Oudry and Cochin le fils. A Hessian by birth, he came to Paris — as did his friend Georges-Frederic Schmidt 2 — so young that his training was practically French, and, having assimilated all that the school could then teach, he exercised in turn an extraordinary influence over his teachers, becoming the master of the masters of the modern school.
In early years, the inconstancy of his interests, the vivacity with which he pursued diverse occupations, gave no promise of that serious devotion to a profession which he afterwards displayed. A series of ventures, in which he exhibited great intelligence and an even greater love of change, culminated in his departure for Paris, where he amused himself with delighted curiosity until he found that he had wholly exhausted his resources.
To his appeals for help his father turned a deaf ear. July 24th, , on portrait of Marigny arter Tocque, No. July 30th, , on portrait of P. Mignard after Rigaud, No. The letter took effedt as old Wille knew it would. Largilliere, adroitly flattered, lent him a pidture to copy, and after its return would have lent him another, only Wille, fore- seeing that he must shortly do some remunerative work, in- geniously declined the offer on the ground that he meant to give up all the winter season to drawing — a pretext which, of course, elicited from Largilliere the strongest approbation.
A friend, to whom he had brought a letter on his arrival in Paris, and who knew that he had, as a youth, been employed in the engraving of ornament on guns, found him a place in the shop of an arquebusier on the Pont Marie. That quarter was, however, too dull for a young gentleman who went constantly to the Comedie Fran9aise, where Wille knew several adtors who had given him his entrees gratis. Another move was accordingly made to the shop of M. Blet- terie, in the same street as the theatre. Even then Wille does not seem to have been quite decided as to his occupation. At this point the real career of Wille begins.
This I engraved on a small plate, and had printed. The payment was not liberal and the reception by Odieuvre of those he employed far less so. Wille has described how, when he brought in his first commissions, Odieuvre — not having enough money in his drawer to make up the required sum — called to his wife, who, old, bent and deaf, was sweeping the kitchen: He had never lost sight of Schmidt, to whom he had attached himself at Strasburg on his way to Paris, and had frequently visited him when he was working for Larmessin on the illustrations of the Contes de la Fontaine. Jean-Georges Eckhardt was born at Darmstadt, but settled in England, where he acquired a considerable reputation as a portrait-painter.
Larmessin reserved for himself those by Lancret, and on these he was helped by Schmidt. Wille and his Pupils. With his engravings after Largilliere in his hand and backed by the kindly Schmidt, who was four years his senior, Wille came before Rigaud, who, after a prolonged examination of his work, remarked: Rigaud was completely conquered ; he held out his hand to Wille with a royal compliment. It must be understood that the execution of an important engraving such as that of the portrait which Wille proposed to reproduce was — if we consider only the time which it required — a very costly matter.
He received, however, some moneys from his father, to whom he had sent a proof of his portrait of Largilliere in that expectation, but they were soon spent. A portion went on the purchase of fine medals, but the most was squandered by Wille on eating and drinking and smart clothes, including the purchase of a silver hilt to his sword. He was incited to the possession of this last elegance possibly by rivalry with Schmidt, who was the proud owner of the uniform of a Prussian bombardier.
The two friends, who had for some time occupied the same lodgings, now parted company. Diderot, devenu celebre par la suite. He was still dependent on Odieuvre, and obliged to accept anything he could get in order to maintain him- 1 See the letter from Orry of May 3rd, Born at Nuremberg; came to Paris, ; called to Denmark in One of his best works is the engraving of the equestrian statue of Frederick V.
Duplessis, officier-general and friend of the said seigneur. Thus fully equipped with all I required for this expedition, I went with the portrait in a gilt frame to this officier- general , who received me with civility, read M. Go, my dear Wille, to my treasurer, who will be delighted to see you and will treat you well. He has signed several portraits and reproduftions of work by Lancret and Boucher. He was probably stimulated by his loss to more aCtive exertions, but we know nothing — at any rate from himself — of the steps by which he attained the remarkable position which he succeeded in filling with much authority till the close of the century.
When Schmidt left Paris for Berlin, in , his decision was perhaps affeCted by the growing consequence of Wille. He had refused the offers made to him by von Knobelsdorf in , but it was then possible to hold Wille — who was four years his junior — cheap, and his own situation, supported by the favour of Rigaud, was one of singular promise.
His nomination 75 Wille and his Pupils. Neither of these portraits is equal to the remarkable reproduc- tion of the portrait of Mignard, by Rigaud, which Schmidt executed as his diploma work. Two months later, in spite of all the efforts made to retain him, he had left France for Berlin. Rode, peintre du roy de Prusse a Berlin. Schmidt, on the other hand, has better feeling for colour, and he draws, I think, better. We may leave on one side the poor vignettes which this great engraver — carried away by the fancy of the day — produced in his last years , 3 but his etchings, some of which are of value, cannot be passed over.
They show, nevertheless, that Schmidt was hampered in their execution by the mechanical excellence of his habitual practice. Long after Schmidt had left for Prussia, Wille notes that a friend, M. Esperendieu, coming from Berlin, had brought him two engravings from M. This work represents the Sassoferrato of the Esterhazy Gallery. This portrait was exhibited at Paris in He had the great force of unreasoning conviction and the best men went to him. With Berwic, as with nearly all his pupils, Wille maintained relations of the most friendly intimacy.
Bervic et a sa jeune et aimable epouse. II est instruit et son esprit est solide. Wille himself had at first given to the engraving of portraits 1 It represents Marie-Antoinette costumed as a vestal virgin, standing by an altar and holding a branch of lilies in her hand. The heavy Austrian type of the features is accentuated by these inappropriate surroundings. He exhibited only in , and See his letter to Rosaspina N. In , as we have seen, he executed one of his best, that of Jean-Baptiste Masse, after Louis Tocque, and he engraved later — for his reception by the Academy — that of Marigny, after the same painter.
In June, — although he was then probably at work on the Marigny portrait — he sends M. Ziesenis, painter to his Britannic Majesty in Hanover, who offers me the portrait of the Queen of England. I have said that I do no more portraits, but will get it done, and he can, if he likes, send me the picture. Clairon, who came, escorted by Cochin, to solicit Wille in person, 2 was firmly refused. Vanloo, ou elle est representee en Medee, 4 et dont la tete a deja ete effacee quatre fois.
At the same time we must remember that other work was more lucrative. See his journal, July 7th, , and July 29th, The vogue which his interpretations of popular masters enjoyed in Paris was outstripped abroad. Schmuzer, graveur de Vienne II me fit en entrant bien des reverences gothiques, me voulant baiser le bas de ma robe de chambre, me nommant tantot Votre Excel- lence, tantot Ihre Gnaden. This portrait was engraved in , and after thirteen years the plate — so injured by verdigris that it had to be reworked — was brought to Wille, in order that he might pull prints from it for the town of Marseille ibid.
Wille, March 14th and April 27th, Not only did he live on the best terms with the chief men of the French school, but his journal shows his friendly relations with strangers and especially with the English. Nicol, is married to a bookseller, and when Wille dines, on the 20th September, with the party, he notes: Sometimes their commissions were embarrassing. Dietsch, to sell, but No great sale, such as that of an amateur like de Caylus, or de Julienne, or of brother artists such as Surugue, 7 took place with- 1 August 31st, , and December 31st, Strange , who was then a student with Cooper in Edinburgh, followed Charles-Edward in , took refuge in Paris after Culloden and became a pupil of Le Bas.
July 30th, , on the portraits of Christophe and Boullogne pere. Exhibited at the Salon from to He had spent some time working for Bernard Picart at Amsterdam, but married and returned to Paris in , and 8l M Wille and his Pupils. Of the latter he writes: I have bought many for myself pour ma curiosite. When Wille arrived in Paris he accepted French direction, French teaching, French influence, but, as he built up his own position, his self-confidence returned, and when he became the acknowledged head of his profession his choice of subjeCt suffered from it.
His journal, whilst it shows that his talent had placed him in contaCt with all that was most distinguished and most interesting in Paris, shows also how incapable the writer was of profiting by his unrivalled opportunities, how limited was his scope of interest, how narrow his field of vision. Wille is absorbed in his commis- sions, his purchases, his dinners, his excursions and the details of his family affairs. He died at Grand- Vaux, near Savigny-sur-Orge.
His son was Pierre-Louis Surugue, July 29th, , on the portraits of Guillain and Fr6min. He exhibited at the Salon from to He was protected by Count v. Briihl and was painter to Augustus, King of Poland. In February, , he notes: Et nous voila au moi de mars de Of his own sister he says — when dating a letter to the cousin with whom he usually cor- responded — that she is the only one of his relations whom he remembers, adding: Amongst those whom he ' See Portalis and Beraldi, t.
Laurent Cars, after Boucher. The aptitudes of a great artist do not often lend themselves to the formation of a school, and Laurent Cars was a great artist. We see the fruits of those severe studies in the Academy of St. Martenasie was a pupil of Le Bas see p. Laurent Cars engraved a com- position by Le Moine for the theological thesis sustained by Armand, prince de Rohan-Ventadour. Cars returned to the lists and triumphed over all his rivals. Le Bas developed, through extreme facility, a licence of execution which often obscures his real intelligence and talent; Cars, on the other hand, drew to himself all the science with which Tardieu mingled his ingenious use of the point with the graver — a science which, transmitted by Cars to his pupil Beauvarlet, 2 was by him abused.
The co-operation of Beauvarlet with his master in the cele- brated portrait of Mile. Clairon as Medea — engraved by royal command from the pidture given to Clairon by the Princess Galitzin — established his reputation. As soon as the print was published, it became the rage. As to the whole statement, if there is some truth in it, there is more exaggeration. The only criticism which I should venture to make is that the plate has 1 He exhibited at the Salons of , , , , , and May 25th, , on the portrait of Edme Bouchardon, after Drouais, No.
Beauvarlet came of the Abbeville school. Not defeats of skill but defedts of temper seem to have delayed his reception by the Academy. Wille records that on May 25th, , he attended the eledtion of Beauvarlet, by his own request. Beauvarlet was received, but he had no less than seven black beans. The portrait of Bouchardon which he then presented he had been ordered to carry out on July 24th, This portrait, if not as attradbive as his popular Madame Dubarry in hunting dress, or as famous as that of Mademoiselle Clairon, is a good specimen of the class of work by the execution of which he seems to have amassed the fortune to the possession of which his three marriages 4 probably contributed, and the inventory taken at his death bears witness.
In addition to Beauvarlet, Augustin de Saint-Aubin 5 and other pupils, such as Chedel, 6 Jardinier 7 and Pasquier, 8 excellent artists but of less note, there is one who was formed by Laurent Cars and whose talent responded brilliantly to the diredtion of the master. His most distinguished pupil was Por- porati, who also went to Wille, but Maloeuvre, the two Voyez, Elluin, Dugourc, Hubert and Audouin may be added to the list. He was no longer a youth when he became the pupil of Laurent Cars 2 and it was not until after he had spent some months under this master that his talent became evident.
Cars himself, we are told, had failed to recognize the ability of Flipart. The notice of Flipart written by Gaucher expresses, in each turn of phrase, the deep feeling of admiration with which the art of this engraver inspired every competent judge. The vagrant Perronneau from the first set high value on his powers and these, coupled with his high character, actually gave him some influence in the Academy.
He was the master of the two Ingouf. The elder displeased Wille. Portalis and Bdraldi is evidently a mistake as the date of his birth is corredtly given as Jean-Jacques Flipart, after Cochin le fils. Boucher du Cabinet du roi. But Cars was dead and all the young men were crowding to the studio of Le Bas. The charm of his character lives in every page of the MS. Here, when he could escape from the disciplinary engraving of sacred subjects after Bolswert, 3 Cochin took refuge and found himself in that pleasant company, of which Le Bas — by eight years only senior to Cochin — was the leading spirit.
Before he arrived at this brilliant situation, Le Bas passed through narrow straits. His mother taught him to read and, at at the age of fourteen, having placed him with Herisset, an architectural engraver, left him to his own resources. The son gave himself up specially to work as an expert. This he obtained from Nicolas Tardieu and his work soon brought him the generous encouragements of Crozat. I gave laces, diamonds and fine clothes. The next day I had no money. That made me serious. Without saying a word I took the diamonds and the laces in the top of my hat ; I sold everything. On returning home, I showed all my money to my wife, saying to her: Be patient ; keep up my courage ; I only ask of you the time necessary to engrave a few plates and publish them, and I will promise to give you back with interest that of which I deprive you to-day.
I shut myself up. J'ai pioche le cuivre [these, says Joullain, were his words]. Le Bas helped my zeal by her economy. She was her own servant and swept her own stairs. In a short time I was able not only to give her back all that I had taken from her before she had enjoyed it, but to have her waited on and to procure for her all those comforts which are proper to decent income. As soon as his means permitted Le Bas to organize his atelier it rapidly filled, and the attraction was such that the provoking treatment received at his hands by incompetent or self-satisfied pupils was no check to his popularity.
The youth who received the first kiss of the sort went back to the atelier much pleased with himself. Louis-Jacques Cathelin, after Cochin le fils. Their number and the consequent enormous output of Le Bas cannot be rivalled by any other master, certainly not by Laurent Cars. It is said that Cars was checked in the exercise of his profession by his devotion to business.
There may have been other reasons. The splendid qualities of his work were not the qualities then coming into vogue. The breadth and freedom, the large and luminous vitality which distinguish the great pages in which he took the compositions of Le Moine for his theme are common charadteristics with the famous engravers of a previous century. The splendid virility of his translations from Boucher in the Moliere series may have seemed an inconvenient force to those who were co-operating in the pro- duction of the delicate vignettes required for the popular work of the day.
Le Bas, on the other hand, was not only disposed to follow passing currents but adapted himself to them without losing any of his pleasant skill. Rehn, however, on returning to Sweden abandoned the practice of engraving, not without much opposition from Le Bas, who saw in this decision not only the loss of the credit to be expedted from a promising pupil but of a fresh opening for those commercial relations of which he never lost sight.
In January, , he admonished his late pupil to see whether it would not be possible 1 The grandson of Rehn, the Baron de Hochschild, communicated to M. These details are accompanied by passages from two of four letters from Le Bas to Rehn. Le Bas was bidden to remonstrate and begins his letter: The sketches were not, indeed, always in this key, for that which accompanies the letter in which Rehn is reminded by Darcis and Mme.
Le Bas of his failure to send the promised muffs is in a vein of pure caricature. And in the background the long visage, stiff and thin, of Mademoiselle Manon Manchelard, probably his servant. Wille, Appendix, and note, t. There is a sharp distinction to be drawn between the love of gain which feeds a magnificent generosity and that which only satisfies the miserable cravings of a selfish avarice. By this distinction Le Bas has a right to profit. His worst crime would seem to have been that, generous and free-handed, he lived careless of the next day.
The continued vogue of the Russian subjects which he treated after his return to France in inspired Le Bas with the desire to profit by the occasion. It is only necessary to look over the list of his contributions to the Salon to see that all the great collections were open to him. Petersburg on the Neva,. These engravings were exhibited in , and dedicated to Marigny. Le Prince belonging to Mme. Yet his breach with Madame de Pompadour proves that Le Bas, in his own case, would brook no breach of etiquette or want of courtesy, even on the part of those to whom he looked for patronage.
She was at her toilet, Joullain tells us, surrounded by men of the Court, when Le Bas came to her and presented his engraving. She received him well and praised his work with judgement, but either from absence of mind or because she did not know exaCtly what to do, she waited until he had left her rooms before asking him for his bill. The spirit which Le Bas displayed Over this incident in the days of his prosperity never forsook him. He lost his wife, he had to leave the house which had sheltered him and his for more than forty years.
Cochin — as we have seen — attempted to complete the set, but he and Le Bas had both passed away before the engraving of his second drawing was finished. On the 2nd February, , Le Bas took to his bed, having been at work as usual on the preceding day. To the last he retained his unfailing flow of spirits and malicious gaiety.
He played tricks on those who watched him, on the priest whom his old servants had called to his bedside, and died after a short illness as bravely as he had lived. Le Bas a qui ils appartiennent. The next step was to replace the early designs of Lepicie and Monnet by drawings of his own and complete the work. As we shall see, however, when we come to write of this matter in connedtion with the career of Moreau himself, his treacherous scheme brought him neither the profit nor the credit which he may have expedted to reap from it. There is, of course, no hard and fast line between the two sets.
The engraver of the great print also turned — as did Laurent Cars — now and again to the 1 See p. He made offers to young engravers, who mostly, like Carl Guttenberg came back to Paris weary of the work and its editor. Guttenberg was much em- ployed by Wille. Schmidt on arriving in Paris became his assistant. The folio practically becomes extindt ; even the quarto Engravers loses favour. In the print engraved by Lucas after Dumeril and published by Basan we are shown that this was indeed the use of the book to the man of money.
What is really the point to note is that whereas, during the earlier part of the century, credit and reputation were won by the bringing out of works of great size, fashion, during the latter half, carried the little book to the front. The illustrations of all the most remarkable of the small books of the second half of the century were engraved almost without exception by men from the school of Le Bas.
If we examine their work closely we shall find how admirably his method was fitted to ensure their success in this direction, provided they had the intelligence to seize on the intention of his teaching. Its influence penetrated even beyond the circle of those who actually worked with or under him. The four volumes of this fine work, published by Jombert in , and , mark, after a certain fashion, the parting of the ways. The engravers, if we except Cars and Flipart, seem, for the most part, to have intentionally indicated the story to be told by 1 Biog.
He is to be specially remembered as the master of Nicolas Delaunay. Huber classes him as a better engraver, or rather as engraving in better taste, than his master, Pierre Aveline. If we compare the work of the two we shall find the distinction unfounded. Picart, born in Paris, lived in Holland, where he settled as engraver and printseller at Amsterdam.
He is best known in England by his fine edition of Boileau , which is accompanied by a remarkable portrait of Queen Caroline after Kneller. Le Mire, then at the height of his powers, a fine draughtsman and endowed with a most delicate sense of values, gets a harmonious result with these slight means, but others less skilful — such, for example, as Lempereur and his wife, Elisabeth Cousinet — fail to give us more than the suggestion of the situation: Le temps a bien change depuis que vous etiez a Paris.
Flipart touching these miniature scenes becomes too heavy, Lempereur is confused, Pasquier 5 commonplace, but Le Mire — always alert, always delicate, always intent on getting the full pidlorial value of his subject — prepares us for the final development of his brilliant and personal talent. The wit and certainty with which he handles 1 Jean-Charles Baquoy, after J.
Each play has its heading and its tailpiece, in which children mimic the passions of tragedy. Two of these compositions are here reproduced, and it will be seen that they have a less enticing air of originality than that which distinguished the groups designed by Gravelot for the text of Boccaccio, but they are engraved by Charles Baquoy 3 with the same spirit and delicate emphasis as he shows when working by the side of Le Mire.
Nothing is at present known about de Seve except his work, but he is supposed to have belonged to a family of the same name connected with the Gobelins. The suggestions which are pointed out as furnishing matter for scandal are not there for their own sake, but as an aid to free story-telling in which morality and immorality are illustrated with equal jesting indifference.
What we have to look at in these volumes is the perfection of the art with which they are carried out: Bouchot has well put it: Born at Rouen in circumstances of terrible poverty and suffering, he owed his start in life to Descamps. II avoit 6t6 mon dldve il y a quarante-deux ans ou environ. The necessity — for the production of the perfeCt book — of a close alliance between the ornament and the illustration had been a cardinal point with all the great publishers of the sixteenth century ; we recognize its force in those editions of the seven- teenth in which the red and black title-page is composed with a lost art ; then a moment comes in which taste seems less sure.
I laughed and excused myself by giving him M. The bird in his cage, the flowers of the wreaths and ornament on either side are indicated with a spirit and precision which take nothing from the exquisite light- ness of the work ; every detail contributes to the luminous effedl of the head in the centre, which is treated as a gem might be set by the hands of a skilful goldsmith. He appears only at the Salons of and There is also a good sketch by Choffard in red and white chalk of a man on his knees to a girl, seated, in a gallant undress , 10, 14, These are engraved with as much care, as much minute detail as if they were on a great scale.
Thanks probably to this originally severe training Ficquet, in spite of his irregularity in work and fantastic humour, surpassed all those — not excepting Grateloup 2 — who devoted themselves to the task of engraving in miniature. If Ficquet gives the very letter of his text, Choffard breathes its very spirit. He at first worked for Odieuvre, under the direction of Schmidt, and whilst with Le Bas became a close friend of Eisen.
His work consists of nine portraits, all engraved before his sight was injured by cataradt at the age of thirty-five. Charles-Etienne Gaucher, after Nattier and Choffard. Le Mire and his assistant Le Veau reverse their positions, for Le Veau — preparing with exquisite care his little plates — takes a principal share in the work. Nearly all those which give us pictures of the social movement of the day under its most engaging aspeCt are signed by him.
If only the text were anything like as good as the art for which it serves as a pretext, these three volumes, further enriched by a graceful frontispiece engraved by C. Boily 2 and a pleasant portrait by Augustin de Saint-Aubin after Cochin, would be entitled to take an even higher place than they now claim on the shelves of the bibliophile.
This is the weak spot in many of the most lovely books of the day — their text is not in any sense literature. It is a relief to find publishers who have been ready to venture on a classic, even a classic as familiar as Ovid. It is, however, true that no other presents a store of fables equally rich in pictorial incident and inexhaustible because capable of the most various interpretation. The translation of the abbe Banier, though both chill and formal, was in itself a classic, having first appeared at Amsterdam in accompanied by the engravings of Bernard Picart.
Other editions followed, and their success was such as to inspire Le Mire and Basan with the projeCt realized in the four quarto volumes published at Paris in Choffard signs the title-page, 3 but this work is somewhat 1 He was a pupil of Lempereur. A Paris chez Basan. Le Mire rue S. Wreaths and garlands have lost the Engravers fragility which is the secret of much of their charm. They are not only delicate engravings of graceful compositions, but they lie well on the page, taking the eye pleasantly without over- weighting the text. In this respedt others are less happy: Admirable as is all their work in these volumes, Le Mire, De- launay and Le Veau never seem to reach their highest level in the execution of allegorical and classical designs, although Le Mire, in virtue of his splendid drawing of the nude, is often triumphantly excellent.
Ponce and Simonet , 9 on the other hand, seem, in this diredtion, to do their very best. Exhibited , , and His learned tastes sometimes led him to engrave duller subjects. Jean-Baptiste Si monet, after Moreau le jeune. In comparing the work of this brilliant and original engraver with that of those whom he seledted as his associates, the most noticeable thing is the immense advance made by his pupil, Le Veau. This fadt was evidently appreciated by Le Mire when he confided to Le Veau one of the series by Eisen with which the work opens.
In dealing with these Le Veau first makes proof of that peculiarly incisive point which distinguishes his reproductions after Gravelot and Moreau and continues to differentiate his work to some extent from that of his master. Poeme en six chants. He was an excellent engraver of vignettes and best in reproducing work by Augustin de Saint-Aubin. In point of ex- pression, grace, piquancy and admirable unity of general effedt it appears to me to be simply perfection.
One is indeed loth to criticise any point in the aspedt of an edition which is illustrated by so much beautiful work, amongst which must also be reckoned the famous engraving by Cathelin 1 of the head of Moliere. With de Ghendt were joined Masque- lier and his associate Nee, who were not far behind him in delicate art. Georges Malrkste, after Moreau le jeun-e. The brilliant art of these men rises to a splendid excellence in these remarkable pages which make us turn impatiently from the 1 1 8? For his work in this publication see p. He worked much for Le Bas in the preparation of his plates. His four engravings in the above series constitute his most important claim to notice.
The above is his most important work. We find his name on many vignettes, amongst others, on those designed by Cochin for the Terence of , which he engraved together with Choffard and Saint-Aubin. Fables de Dorat, Emmanuel de Ghendt, after Pif. With Hubert-Fran9ois Bourguignon dit Gravelot 1 we leave the en- gravers proper and come to the designers for illustrated books. The execution of cuts that should enliven the text of books of dimensions such as could be easily held in the hand was quite a different matter from the illustration of great folio volumes, which meant the execution of engravings that would show as well or better on the walls of a cabinet.
There was also another and noteworthy point marking difference and change which is diredtly connected with the genius of Gravelot. It is the treat- ment of matter furnished by the life of the day in the pages accompanying the text of the novel or romance. The modern novel is, in fadt, the creation of the eighteenth century and Grave- lot was, perhaps, the first to show what might be done in the way of illustrating the subjects treated in its pages.
Cochin, it is true, gave designs for hundreds of small books and showed — in his famous drawings of the great Versailles Fetes — 1 He belonged to no Academy. If compared with the work of other designers of illustrations that of Hubert Gravelot takes the most honourable place. The promise of excellence shown by him when the pupil of Restout 2 encouraged his father — who, a tailor by trade, nourished high ambitions for his sons — to send him to Rome, but the projedt did not succeed, and finally Gravelot was despatched to St.
In England Gravelot remained about thirteen years, engraving and painting and making an immense quantity of drawings for other engravers. His work at that date shows the greatest variety of style: The Blue-coat boys, in one of these volumes, who cap the portrait of Edward VI. They represent engagements between the British and Spanish fleets at the time of the Armada, and are surrounded by borders, with medallion portraits of the various commanders. Portalis and BCraldi shows designs for the case of an etui , for the case of a watch, figures, etc.
It is accompanied by the announce- ment: Removed from the corner of Little Newport St. According to ACt of Parliament, 1 JI 3 Gravelot and Eisen. If he went back to Paris thirteen years later, in , he must have returned to London shortly after, unless indeed he continued to furnish from Paris the illustrations of various editions brought out in London. Our women would scarcely need to look so furtive at the present moment.
I 14 Promenade a deux. In the collection of M. Wornum — must convince us that when M. Gravelot paints, as he drew, with ingenuous simplicity, without pretension or emphasis, and with a most remarkable feeling for the right surroundings of his subjects. We recognize them markedly in his designs for plays and romances: Bachaumont writes July 5th, Cet ouvrage sera de dix a douze volumes.
Riccoboni writes May 15th, Fenouillot was a personal friend of Gravelot. In an undated letter to Garrick he says: His great strength is in dealing with scenes of contemporary life. Of the delicate and peculiar character of these designs, M. Portalis, to whom students of the art of the eighteenth century owe so much, has written an admirable criticism.
When he attacks the classics, 4 there is shown a distinct inferiority of every quality except that of composition. His admirable powers of design never forsake him and furnish indeed the saving grace of his weakest and latest work. Noel Le Mire, after Gravelot.
An exception must, however, be made as regards later work, in favour of the brilliant and workmanlike renderings of Bouchar- don's drawings of the " Cris de Paris. This represents but only one side of the writer's activity, which, as it contains numbers of comedies and society verses, probably belongs to the class of work referred to by Mariette when he says that de Caylus " dans sa jeunesse avoit beaucoup dcrit, mais pourtant des bagatelles " A. See Delaborde, " D6partement des Estampes," pp.
See also August ist, , and January loth and November 27th, 1 , for other gifts, and Catalogue of the Chalcographie du Louvre, Nos. Beside many single examples he handed over various " Collections," each in its way unique. Amongst these was a series of drawings from objects in his possession which he had caused to be executed for reproduction in his own works, 1 as well as the " Peintures antiques trouvees a Rome," copied by Pietro Santi Bartoli in gouache for Queen Christina of Sweden.
De Caylus himself had never married, but he inherited at the age of sixty-eight, from an uncle who had taken service with Spain, an income of 60, It. He demanded and obtained from Louis XV. Before presenting the original drawings of Bartoli to the Cabinet du roi, Caylus had them engraved and coloured at great cost. Thirty copies were, Le Beau tells us, given to the public ; that in the Catalogue of Mariette, and which is described by Basan in the Catalogue of Mariette's sale, is now in the Bibliotheque Nationale.
The text and illustration of his " Recueil des Antiquites" 2 are both open to criticism. The one is full of errors ; the other, especially where works of sculpture are concerned, shows whether we recognize the hand of Bouchardon or of Caylus a pure travesty of classic style.
All the same our debt to Caylus remains immense. We can- not be too grateful to the man who devoted his fortune to bring together these vast collections, who gave his time, his labour, his intelligence to the scrupulous exactitude of their description, and who did so much in this and in every other direction to raise the level of taste in his day.
At the Academy he was a frequent lecturer, and when, as a consequence of a discourse on " Testes d'expres- sion," a petition was got up by the students, funds were found by him for the maintenance of a class which has been immortalized by Cochin's drawing, 3 and the prize for a duller subject " TOsteo- logie " was also instituted through his initiative. He could prefer Vasse 5 to Pigalle, in which he was certainly wrong, and we may be sure that Cochin says no more than the truth when he avers that Caylus, if he had given a hasty judgement, was loth to retract or modify it a most usual weakness with critics.
But when we have made all deduc- tions, there remains a remarkable man, one whose character and life had unity and dignity, one who deserves something more than to be remembered only as the friend of Watteau, the lover of Mademoiselle Quinault-Dufresne 6 and Madame Geoffrin, the 1 His collection of engravings and drawings was sold in London, after his death, in She made her d6but at the Comdie Franchise in This, it has been suggested, preceded by two years the date of her relations to de Caylus.
The venomous attack made by Marmontel on the man by whose good- will he had probably been admitted to Madame GeorFrin's table conveys the impression that de Caylus had been justly displeased by the bumptious and underbred familiarity of the author of those mawkish " Contes Moraux " which owe their only value to Gra- velot's brilliant illustrations. The quarrel with the Encyclopaedists, which began with their intentional exclusion of de Caylus from their list of authorities, 1 embittered the last years of his life and had no doubt contributed to develop hostile relations between himself and Marmontel.
Neither side could tolerate the pretensions of the other and de Caylus dealt with Diderot as insolently and more frankly than Diderot dealt with him. II y a de certains b qui ne meurent pas tandis que pour le malheur des lettres de 1'Europe d'honnetes gens. Watelet belonged to the new generation, de Caylus represented the old. The indefatigable activity and high ambitions displayed by de 1 Cochin, Mm. Pacciaudi was librarian to the Duke of Parma. Diderot's resentment may be measured by the satisfaction with which he congratulates himself and others, in the Salon of , on having been delivered by death from the " plus cruel des amateurs.
Miintz, "Un pre"curseur et un ennemi de Diderot " Rev. Bleue, 29 Mai, Claude-Henri Watelet, 2 born to great wealth, 8 employed his riches to make his collections perfect and to lead an easy life with a picked circle of friends. On his return, Watelet was naturally regarded by de Caylus as a promising disciple. These expectations were heightened by the successive publication of various sets of " Vases " engraved by Watelet, after drawings by Pierre, or by Pierre and Vien, one of which was dedicated to Madame Geoffrin.
He was pleased to busy himself with music, or painting, or engraving ; but he lived for the world, in the Salons of Madame GeofFrin and Madame Tencin, in the pleasant company of the reigning favourite, for whom he engraved Cochin's portrait of her young brother, Abel Poisson, the future Marquis de Marigny, or the even more agreeable society of Madame Le Comte, whose 1 Le Beau says: Des que la plaie fut ferme, il se rendit avec empressement a nos occupations. II n'avoit point interrompu ses Etudes ; il reprit son train ordinaire ; il visita ses amis, les savants, les artistes, dont il alloit animer les travaux, tandis qu'il mouroit lui-me'me.
Port6 entre les bras de ses domestiques, il sembloit laisser a chaque lieu une portion de sa vie. Combien de fois ne 1'avons-nous pas vu en cet 6tat assister a nos stances et se ranimer a nos lectures. Honoraire associd libre, A similar set is dedicated to " la Signora illustrissima Duronceray nel arte del' intagliatura dilettante virtuosissima " a thoroughly unmerited eulogium.
Le Comte, the woman to whom by a rare conformity of tastes and pleasures he became indissolubly attached, the source of Watelet's wealth was untouched, nor can the fortune of M. Le Comte and his wife be regarded as inconsiderable. Le Moulin-Joli, a beautiful property near Argen- teuil, was actually bought by Watelet as a retreat for himself and Marguerite Le Comte, in which they might enjoy each other's society in the company of trusted friends, and he certainly lavished great sums on making it a perfect maison de plaisance.
Watelet's social successes were crowned by his election to the Academy, and the journey to Italy which he undertook with Madame Le Comte in was a sort of triumphal procession. The couple chaperoned by Watelet's complaisant old tutor, the abbe Coppette, and carrying in their train Savalette de Buchelay and the Swiss landscape-painter and engraver Weirotter 4 were 1 A second portrait of the same lady, in full face an example of which is cited by Portalis and BeValdi as in the collection of Baron Pichon was also engraved by Watelet.
II aima Marguerite Le Comte et lui apprit a graver a 1'eau-forte aussi bien que lui. Elle quitta son mari, ses biens et son pays pour aller vivre avec Watelet. Quarante ans apres on de'couvrit aux environs de Paris, dans une maison appele Moulin-Joli, un vieux homme," etc. Mariette says of Weirotter: Le Comte, from Rome, 2 Watelet, after giving directions as to the arrangement of their rooms at the Moulin, adds: Le Comte est toujours comblee de politesses, de prevenances et d'attentions sur tout et en toute occasion.
Elle auroit etc logee sur la route de Naples dans tous les palais qui sont sur ce chemin et re9eue dans cette ville par ce qu'il y a de plus grand. II y a ici un cardinal Albane qui 1'a prise dans la plus sin- guliere amitie ainsi que la princesse Borghese. Vigee Lebrun, who was herself one of the privileged guests of " Le Moulin-Joli. Watelet, a great lover of art, a dis- tinguished man of a sweet and attaching character who had made many friends. In his enchanted isle, I found him in keeping with all his surroundings: A friend, to whom he had been attached for thirty years, lived in his house.
Time had sanctified, so to say, their tie, to such a point that they were every- where received in the best company, as well as the lady's husband, who, drolly enough, never left her. Etant dans cette ville, il en a grav plusieurs qui meYitent d'etre estims. II toit un esprit inquiet et qui ne pouvoit demeurer en place. Watelet en Italic" A. From its style it is more probable that it was written by Watelet to his caissier, Roland, than to M. Watelet," wrote Colle, " receveur general des finances, est un amateur des arts, mais qui, dans aucun n'a montre ni un genie ni un talent decide.
II sait peindre, il sait graver, il a fait des vers, mais tout cela dans un degre si mediocre que le moindre des artistes est infiniment au-dessus de lui. On one of my first visits to Chantilly, the Duke d'Aumale sent me off with M. Gruyer to look over the drawings of one of the most widely celebrated Carmontelle. The interest which his drawings excite is in- dependent of any artistic value ; it is simply that of a chronicle of things and people out of sight. His work is by no means remarkable, but it had a great social success. Wille writes, March agth, Huber d'obtenir de M.
Wattelet son ceuvre pour le Cabinet electoral. It excited the ire of Diderot. He was the son of a shoemaker named Carrogis, whose shop was at the corner of the rue des Quatre- Vents. It is supposed that he took his second name in order not too constantly to recall that of the shop. See the notice by Mme. One drawing, that of the Galas family, is historic. Grimm tried in vain to induce Wille to engrave it, and it was handed to Delafosse.
The only amateur whose execution rises above this level is Antoine de Marcenay de Ghuy, 2 and he is an exception proving the rule, for though always reckoned as an amateur, he appears to have no title to this indulgence except good birth. He regularly sold his work in order to eke out his income, 3 and his abortive attempt, with the help of Wille, who had already solicited for him the " patent " of the Imperial Academy of Augsburg, to get himself received as an associate by the Royal Academy indicates an essentially professional ambition.
Ces prieres sont d'usage. As a rule, in large work he gets thick and heavy when trying for force, and " woolly " when he wants an This work is shown hanging in the alcove of Voltaire's bedroom, in Denon's " Dejeuner de Ferney. Catalogue de son oeuvre, Lettres indites," etc. Possibly the check to his ambition, by disgust- The ing him with painting, threw him back on the practice of an art Comte de for which he had more aptitude, and in which he could appeal to an d the Wille for practical counsel and guidance.
He had inherited artistic tastes from his mother daughter and grand-daughter of painters of the family of Boullogne. He became an abbe and a conseiller au Parlement for family reasons, but took the first opportunity that offered of quitting his place, the sale of which supplied the means for his stay in Italy, whence he returned in , bringing Fragonard with him, and, says Mariette, "quantite de desseins qu'il lui a fait faire, et parmi lesquels j'en ai vu plusieurs representant des veues de Rome, dont la touche et le faire m'ont beaucoup plu. This attempt was followed up by the series of " Fragments de peintures et tableaux les plus interessants des palais et eglises d'ltalie," engraved by Saint-Non after his system of "eau-forte completee de lavis " 3 which closely resembled the method per- fected by Le Prince.
Already he had begun to plan the great work to which he dedicated his fortune and his life, the " Voyage pittoresque de Naples et dans les Deux Siciles. Honoraire associd libre, December 6th, ; amateur, February 26th, Proof-reading, careful critical examination of the text, were the least of the actual drudgery which devolved on him, and, in this respect, as well as in the distribution of the subjects of the illustrations to the engravers whom he treated with an open-handed generosity he showed the same devoted temper of self-abnegation, reserving for his own execution only the simpler ornaments at the foot of the page, in which figured antique vases or groups of fruit and foliage.
Complete also was the ruin of its creator. Subscribers had become weary of the drain on their funds, and in order to keep his engagements de Saint-Non had been compelled to throw into the gulf not only his own fortune but that of his brother. Throughout this desperate struggle with adverse circumstances, de Saint-Non was sustained by the fire with which he pursued his unselfish ends. His character in this respect presents a remarkable contrast both to the epicureanism of Watelet and to the formal dignity of de Caylus.
All three men are types of their century in its successive phases of development. The whole attitude of de Caylus, with its manifest assumption of authority, is reminiscent of the traditions of the Grand Siecle ; Watelet personifies the lighter philosophy by which they were replaced, but the spirit of de Saint- Non had been stirred by the breath of the coming revolution. His friends were Rousseau and Franklin ; he had generous illusions which consoled and fortified him in disaster and the hour of death.
He closed his eyes in the firm faith of a great national renewal ; 3 1 Faujas de Saint-Fond, the geologist, and Dolomieu de Gratet de Dolomieu , were amongst those who undertook special portions of the book. The figure subjects are usually the worst, though there is an etching by him of a woman in bed chatting with another seated at the foot, that has " come " very well and has a real air. Cochin describes Bouchardon as " tres-despote ches lui Mariette 1 qui, pour ainsi dire, etoit toujours a genoux devant lui.
Mariette, cette lettre, lui ayant confie son idee sous la promesse du plus grand secret. Mariette le lui garda et s'en justifia comme il put dans la suitte aupres de M. Mariette faisoient tres assiduement leur cour a M. Le premier donnoit par la bonne opinion de son goust, et le second en tiroit de la consideration et presque touttes les contre"- preuves de ses desseins.
Mariette," says Cochin p. Basan There is indeed no hint, except in Cochin's pages, that the friendship existing between these men was ever troubled, 1 and Mariette, when writing to Bottari October I2th, of de Caylus's death, added the kindly words: Each found in the other qualities in which he himself was more or less lacking.
The varied acquirements of de Caylus, his tendency to dogmatic system and theoretic speculation were a stimulus to the intelligence of Mariette, who, inheriting narrower traditions and special training, was inclined towards the exhibition of pure connoisseurship, backed, it is true, by an amazing store of exact learning. The influence which they combined to exercise on their contemporaries was of incalculable importance.
Just when superior direction was failing, de Caylus erected a standard of attainment which was of the highest character: These collections had been to a great extent amassed by the father and grandfather of Pierre-Jean, whom he had succeeded as printseller and publisher at the sign of the Colonnes d'Hercule, rue St.
Jacques, with the motto " Haec meta laborum. J'ay encore 6t6 confirm6 dans cette ide par 1'aveu que j'ay entendu faire a M. Mariette que, malgr6 le long attachement qu'il avoit tmoign a M. Jacques, aux Colonnes d'Hercule, It appears to have come into the family from Langlois dit Chartres, who died in , leaving a widow who married Pierre le fils. Delatour, in error, gives her to Denys, whose wife was Justine Abonnenc. Their traditions were preserved with noble dignity by Pierre-Jean, and one may see, even from chance references made by Cochin, how strictly he kept to his own class married in it, lived in it, sought alliances for his children in it at a time when his close relations with the great and powerful would have enabled him to gratify less worthy ambitions.
Mariette," writes Cochin, " avoit marie une de ses filles a M. Brochan, 1 marchand d'etoffes; cette famille etoit tres-consideree dans la paroisse St. Germain tant a cause de son opulence, qu'a cause de ses moeurs les plus honnetes et les plus respectables dont elle faisoit profession. Us n'entendoient rien aux arts et regardoient M. Mariette comme un aigle en ces matieres. Germain 1'Auxerrois, and who resented the influence which he supposed to have been exercised by de Caylus on the Brochant family, through Mariette, in order to procure the commission for Vasse.
On such a point Mariette might now be held to have been wrong. The weakness inherent to the position taken up by himself and de Caylus was that it led to a doctrinaire assumption of the merit of all work no matter how poor in quality executed ac- cording to certain canons of taste, and to the condemnation of all no matter how graceful and brilliant in which these canons were not respected.
No doubt they quite honestly preferred the feeble elegance of Vasse to the vigorous bravura of Slodtz, neither of whom, however, was in the least likely to have felt the beauty of the structure they were proposing to decorate. As regards taste, even in his own special province, the judge- ments of Mariette have not always been confirmed by posterity.
It is, indeed, impossible, even for one as brilliantly endowed as he, not to be biassed occasionally by some capricious fancy or strain of personal prejudice. Mariette, who wrote of Lionardo, " il etoit lui-meme une lumiere qui devoit servir de guide a tous ceux qui family were interested, Pierre is described as " marchand de taille-douce " MS. Percv Mariette, whom I have to thank for these details.
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Brochant left a collection of engravings, drawings and pictures, etc. He may have been of the same family, but is not the Sieur Claude- Jean-Baptiste Brochant, marchand, fournisseur de la maison du Roy, who married Anglique-Genevieve Mariette and figures with her in in the "Ate de partage," etc. J'ai plusieurs de ses desseins que je met au rang de tout ce que je connois de plus beau," 3 and who accepted the attribu- tion to Michael-Angelo of the somewhat coarse and violent drawing of a hand which now figures under the name of Annibal Caracci in the Louvre. Condivi, in his " Life of Michael-Angelo," had related that when Cardinal Santo Giorgio sent to the sculptor to ask whether a statue of Cupid, sold to him as an antique, were not really by him, Michael-Angelo took a pen and drew a hand in proof of his claims.
It passed from Crozat to Mariette, and Mariette was convinced of its authenticity. He refers to it with unmeasured admiration in the notes published by Gori in the first volume of his edition of Condivi, which appeared at Florence in Dario, which is followed by the " Lettre sur Leonard de Vinci, Peintre Florentin," addressed by Mariette to Caylus, and intended to accompany the " Recueil de Caricatures " engraved by de Caylus after da Vinci.
The letter first appeared in without the names of either Caylus or Mariette; it was translated into Italian in the " Lettere su la pittura," and finally was reprinted with corrections and additions, and accompanied by the engravings, in It will be found again reprinted by the editors of the A. The sixty drawings were acquired by Mariette. He formed the Cabinet des Me"dailles of the Vatican Library.
In he published "Sculture e Pitture sacre estratte dei cimiterj di Roma," and in "Raccolta di lettere sulla pittura, scultura e architettura, scritte da' i piu celebri professori. Crozat possede un tres- grand nombre de dessins tous beaux et rares, mais n'eut-il que cette seule main, elle suffirait a elle seule pour le rendre c61ebre, comme il Test dans le monde entier, parce qu'elle est v6ritablement un tre"sor " Bottari, t.
Eight years later, on the death of Crozat, the drawing now in the Louvre became the property of Mariette, whose admiration for its quality withstood even the comparison with important and authentic work by the master of which he was possessed. On this one occasion his habitually direct judgement was warped by the desire which constantly betrays the ordinary col- lector the desire to recognize unique importance in his own possessions.
The one slip made by Mariette is conspicuous only by contrast with the innumerable proofs of his consummate connoisseurship, which constitute his claim to take a higher place than can be conceded to any other amateur. His special distinction consisted in the fine taste which led him instinctively to the work of great periods, and which rendered him insensible to the caprices of fashion. Ceux-ci ont pris un tel credit qu'on se les arrache et qu'on y prodigue Tor et 1'argent, tandis qu'un tableau ou qu'un dessein d'ltalie n'est regarde qu'avec une sorte d'indifference. Cela ne m'empeche pas de suivre mon gout, aussi n'est-ce point une exageration de vous dire que ma collection, formee dans cet esprit-la, est peut-etre la plus complette et la mieux choisie qui soit en Europe.
He was born to great opportunities. Not the least of these was offered by the collections formed by his father and grandfather, who seem to have carried on their business with the object of reserving for their own portfolios everything that they thought to be of exceptional interest or beauty.
Trained by daily contact with the treasures stored in his own home, Mariette was ready, at an age when most men are but at the threshold of life, to take advantage to the full of the relations which his father had acquired in the conduct of his affairs. See under the heading " Buonaroti.
Mariette," drawn up by " M. Delatour, successeur de M r Mariette," 2 that he had started in business with his father, Jean, in He was, says the writer, te libraire en Eugene Miintz, " Courrier de 1'Art. In writing to Temanza 15 Avril, Mariette mentions "Bertoli, habile dessinateur que j'ai connu per- sonnellement dans le sejour que j'ai fait a Vienne " "Arch, des Arts," , p. This is an evident allusion to the motto " Nee plus ultra," which I learn from Mr.
Percy Mariette was not the motto of his great ancestor. Colbert," and for the? L nd purchase of a " Recueil de quatre cent vingt-cinq plantes dessinees ou pour mieux dire imprimees par le moyen d'un nouveau secret. Every page gives evidence of that exceptionally exact knowledge and wide experience which, as Delatour puts it, " le mirent dans le cas de meriter la confiance des personnages les plus distinguees et de plusieurs souverains. In undertaking this vast enterprise Mariette had the advantage of a forerunner. The mistakes and errors of the Pere Orlandi, 5 a writer " sans methode et sans exactitude," provoked Mariette, as he has himself told us, into jotting down day by day the correc- tions which occurred to him.
Mariette," published by M. Miintz, "Courrier de 1'Art," April nth and i8th, and May 2nd, First Architect to the Venetian Republic. The autographs of Mariette's letters to him, eighteen in number, were found by M. Miintz at the Musde Correr, and published in the " Archives des Arts," They were previously known only in the Italian translation given by Ticozzi, " Lettere pittoriche " Bottari, t.
Miintz in the " Courrier de 1'Art," July 4th and nth, August ist and 22nd, ; January 2nd and gth, The edition of was dedicated to Crozat, "excellent et magnihque amateur et dilettante de peinture, sculpture et des autres beaux arts dans la royale ville de Paris. It does not diminish the honours of the great French amateur to point out that Orlandi, hasty and uncritical as he was, furnished him, by the publication of his " Abecedario pittorico," with the ground for his own work.
Mariette had known Rosalba Carriera at Venice, during his Italian tour, and when she came to Paris in , she visited him and his mother in the rue Saint Jacques. From the journal kept by her during her stay 5 we get not only an entertaining picture of the crowd of fine ladies and gentlemen by whom she was besieged, 6 but an exact notion as to the regular guests of the house.
Amongst these one of the most assiduous was de Caylus, who busied himself, as we have seen, with the reproduction of the magnificent collec- tion of drawings which Crozat had himself brought back from Italy in Crozat," says Mariette, " n'aimait point ses dessins pour lui seul ; il se faisait, au contraire, un plaisir de les faire voir aux 1 ii Aout, Je le dis en me citant moi-me'me, qui me suis tromp sur des noms que je connais aussi bien que mon nom. La mme chose est arrived a Vasari et a ceux qui sont venus apres lui " Bottari, t.
Sensier, appeared in Quelus, di nascosto, e per ordine dell' altra principessa sorella, disposta anche ella di venirci alle sei della mattina seguente. On tenait assez regulierement Basan. Mariette was, also, it may be noted, the publisher of this costly work, 3 but the printing business in which he had engaged two years before his marriage 4 was abandoned in , when it was sold to Louis-Fran9ois Delatour, the writer of the not always accurate note on the family of Mariette already quoted. The same writer also quotes Mariette's proud saying, " I wish no other title than that of libraire-amateur" but that was made only in repudiation of the " quality of painter " with which Gori had enriched him in the notes to his edition of Condivi's life of Michael-Angelo.
Je lui marque que M. Mariette m'a remis le volume ftAntiquith, peint pour lui. Get ouvrage lui a td fait present par M. La dpense pour peindre et colorier ces estampes est de trois cents livres, et la relieure dix-huit livres. An edition of the work was published by Didot in In the second and somewhat fuller MS.
L nd The Academy remained unmoved even by the example of the Academy of Florence, which had done itself the honour of receiv- ing Mariette as a member in ; 1 it remained indifferent to the fine performance of his " Description sommaire des dessins des grands maitres du Cabinet de feu M.
Crozat," 2 to the Catalogue of the Cabinet Boyer-d'Aguilles ; 3 in short, Mariette even though rumour declared that his most important work, " Traite des pierres gravees," had won the favour of Mme. His purchase in , " avec Tagrement et 1'estime du chef de la magistrature. I have seen it suggested that he was not one of Mme. Geoffrin's set, but Cochin, no friendly witness, mentions his name as present at one of her famous dinners in , and adds that he drove away afterwards with de Caylus in Marigny's coach to look at the Catafalque by Slodtz.
A year or two later Cochin again mentions his presence at Mme. Geoffrin's " bureau des amateurs," when the quarrel had arisen between Betzky and Daulle over the engraving of the portrait of the Princess Anas- tasia, 6 and does so in terms which show that, at that date, the learned author of the " Traite des pierres gravees " was one of the regular guests of the Monday dinners instituted by de Caylus. From a reference in Wille's journal February, 1 Dumesnil, ut supra, pp. See " Crozat," A. The short preface written by Mariette will be found under the name of Boyer-d'Aguilles in the A.
Mariette car le temps etoit fort mauvais. The " Cocher Pelletier " figures with Mile. La Croix and Mile. Le Blanc the first and second maids of Mme. Mariette the domestique Belleville and the gardener of the country place at Croisy, which is mentioned by Mariette in his letter to Temanza of the 1 8th June, 1 Mariette survived her husband and the arrangements made during her lifetime as to the employment of her fortune when the four children of the house were married and dowered 4 seem to have been answerable for the sale of the unique collection which was the glory of Paris.
It was felt by the small group of connoisseurs who continued the traditions of the Grand Stick that the treasures accumulated during more than a century by three generations of iconophiles the last of whom was the most illustrious known ought not to be allowed to leave the country. A movement was set on foot to secure for the Bibliotheque Royale this priceless collection and so realize the wishes of one who had in his lifetime patriotically refused the brilliant offers made by the Empresses of Austria and Russia, the King of Prussia and the Elector of Saxony.
Elle a produit plus de , It. Jugez de ce que se [sic] pouvoit e"tre. J'y ai eu pour ma part un nombre de desseins qui ne dpareront point ma colleftion " "Arch, des Arts," Miintz, , p. Mariette et le reunir a celui de Sa Majeste. Pierre, Cochin and Lempereur were told off to negotiate with the heirs, but their expectations had been raised by the large sum 69, 1.
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Their expectations were dis- appointed ; the sale of November I5th, , only realized a sum inferior by 1 1, 1. Joly, in the bitterness of his defeat, may have found some satis- faction in this circumstance, but he had himself had the pain of watching, hour after hour, the acquisition by others of the in- estimable treasures for ever lost to France. The credit of 50, 1. The famous dealer, publisher and expert of the rue Serpente, Pierre-Fran5ois Basan, 3 to whom the treasures amassed by the house of Mariette were entrusted, lacked the necessary qualification for his task, not having the scholarship which had rendered the Catalogue of the Cabinet Crozat a work of the highest form of teaching.
Blanc, " Trsor de la Curiosit6," t. The prices, though not realizing as much as the heirs expedted, went beyond the expectations of the outside world. Dittmer, a Ratis- bonne," writes Wille, "je lui fais voir l'impossibilit ou je me suis trouv par rapport aux prix que son ami, M. Mariette , d'acqueVir ce que M. Hartlaub auroit de"sir6 " 27 Mars, Prompted as it would seem by the desire of gain, he abandoned his art and devoted his energies to dealing. He put into the trade which he developed and carried on in his hotel, rue Serpente, the zeal, the devotion, the passion even, which Mariette displayed in the service of learning and of art.
Basan, in short, represents the temper of that later generation of dealers, who have seen in the knowledge of and care for beautiful things mainly the means of making money and who have valued the knack of anticipating their market beyond any interest or pleasure to be derived from the intrinsic value of the works in which they dealt. Mariette by his personal taste, by his traditions, by his won- derful power of recognizing good work under the most varied or unaccustomed aspects, by his fine qualities of judgement raised the standard of the libraire-amateur to a point which it has never attained before or since and actually exerted a direct influence on the formation of that opinion which determined the classic re- action, which coloured the art of Prud'hon and contributed to form the talent of David.
In Basan we have the prototype of the successful dealer of our own day: Under him Basan necessarily became familiar with all the courses of profitable advertisement. If Fessard engraved a work, there was the dedication in favour of which money or credit were to be won. He contrived to stand so well with great people that all Cochin's wit and wisdom were needed to support Marigny in his refusal to grant Fessard the exclusive privilege of engraving with his facile burin the " Tableaux du roi," and he succeeded in extracting a " pourboire " of It.
When Basan left Daulle, he was determined on making money.
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He bought a few good plates, engraved a few himself, and collected round him various young engravers, whom he employed and housed under his own roof. Italy did not tempt Fran9ois Basan but, noting the passion for little Dutch pictures of the class skilfully manipulated by Wille, he had resort to Holland, to Flanders and to England 1 for the establishment of a connection. Mariette, with whom he was on friendly terms, may have served him in this part of his business. The kind of technique, clear and effective as far as it goes, if not too scrupulously honest, is just of the order which necessarily appeared most desirable to Basan for the setting out of the series of subjects after Flemish and Dutch painters which were to find their market " a Amsterdam chez Fouquet junior, a Paris chez Basan graveur, rue St.
Basan says "a grav 1'Enlevement des Sabines. Sornique ayant Iaiss6, en mourant, cette planche imparfaite, elle a 6t6 termine" par Beauvarlet. In he exhibited three works engraved for the " Galerie de Dresde. His title to the execution of these has been contested, but it is clear from the special characteristics of the work that if Basan did not do it he had at least a very clear idea as to how it was to be carried out under his direction. To this class belong also the reproductions of the sketches of Oudry " ' Le Mouton ' et c Le Chat Panterre,' peint d'apres nature a la Menagerie du Roy.
Wille seems to have had frequent business relations with Basan. Basan, au nombre de quarante-huit, des planches que M. Zingg 2 m'a gravees d'apres M. Vernet," he writes on the 4th November, , a date at which Basan was engaged in the publication of the first "Recueil. Before going to the rue et Hotel Serpente, where we find him No. He lived first, I suppose, in the rue St. Jacques, where he would have received in the encouragements of his neighbour, Mariette; then in the rue du Foin 4 near St. Severin, until the great extension of his trade forced him to seek larger quarters.
His domestic troubles may also have contributed to make him desire the change. Basan," writes Wille, January 3ist, , " depuis sa separation d'avec sa femme, a soupe la premiere fois chez nous. II me fait bien de la peine, car il ne merite pas ce qui lui est arrive. Basan, however, soon comes on the scene, 5 the business prospers and develops, visitors are taken to the shop as to a great sight, 6 and Wille's journal shows a constantly increasing friendly intercourse 1 See "French Decoration and Furniture, etc.
There is no explanation given of the "separa- tion. Wille, November i6th, Aubin 1'aine, 2 whose name reminds us that the two most interesting engravings with which Basan's name is connected are from draw- ings by that most delightful artist. Aubin, de Longueil, Simonet, Masquelier and Baquoy.
The enterprise was, however, the cause of a serious quarrel between Basan and Noel Le Mire, who finally appealed to Wille and three other experts to compose their differences. On the i2th August, , the entry occurs in Wille's journal: Basan m'avoit invite pour etre mediateur, avec trois autres, entre lui et M. Basan reste actuellement seul proprietaire, en donnant dix mille six cents livres et douze exem- plaires complets a M.
It places the credit of his taste and judgement on a level with his reputation as a brilliant man of business, and Mariette himself may well have given his approval to its pages. It is, indeed, not impossible that the beauty of the work contributed to determine the selection of Basan to deal with the sale of Mariette's collections. In the notice prefixed by Basan to the Catalogue he frankly acknowledges his debt to the twenty 1 Me"m.
Wille, February I3th, Neither before nor after had he anything to handle of like importance. With the sale of the collections of an amateur of Amsterdam named Neyman, Basan encouraged probably by the success of the set of little engravings which accompanied the sale of the collection of the Duke de Choiseul inaugurated the system, since popular, of illustrated catalogues.
The Neyman and Poullain sales seem to have decided Wille to sell all his pictures and such drawings as he had in portfolios. Basan," he says October, "destine a en faire la vente, est venu tous ces jours-cy pourprendre notes des uns et des autres, notes necessaires pour composer le catalogue. It probably answered Wille's expectations, for the " bon repas" given on the 2nd February, , to M.
Basan whose reappearance receives no comment , M. Poig- nant 2 and others may be connected with the final settlement of the operations at the Salle des Ventes. It was certainly no ordinary occasion, for the host adds: Tous ont egalement soupe le soir, et nous sommes restes ensemble jusqu'a minuit," after which Basan pays his debt by inviting the party to his country house at Bagneux.
Basan, and was associated with her father in his business. Wille, June 4th, In he figured as an expert in the " Plainte en escroquerie de Coutant contre Martin, marchand de tableaux," l and a few years later he decided to give up business. In Schmuzer, writing to Wille as to the sale of an engraving, is told that he must not count on Paris printsellers, for " les prin- cipaux, qui etoient MM. Basan et Chereau, avoient quitte le commerce.
In December of the following year Regnault-Delalande organized the sale of the collections which had made the old hotel of the rue Serpente one of 'the sights of Paris. Mariette had lived his life, as it were, to himself; we are told that he hid his treasures as a miser would his gold 3 and did not willingly open his portfolios except to those whose taste and judgement he respected a sentiment which appeals to every collector ; for who has not suffered anguish at seeing damp thumbs pressed on bronze medals ; prints handled by the wrong ends, and books pulled from their shelves and laid open with a display of total ignorance as to the constitution of their backs!
To such distresses Basan, whose house was genially open to every visitor, must have been continually exposed. Siecle " by MM. They speak of the great sale-room on the ground floor, where Basan left on view the pictures, prints and curiosities entrusted to him ; on the first floor they note the atelier of the engravers working for the house, and near to it the atelier of Basan himself the gallery, shown us in a little engraving by Choffard, 4 where he hung all his collections of engravings, paint- ings and drawings.
Wille, May a6th, Basan is represented surrounded by all his works and encouraged by Mercury, the god of commerce. If one dwells on the character and interests of Mariette, who traded and pub- lished and made fortune as his fathers had done before him, one is struck by its dignity and the immense services rendered to art by his sincerity and erudition ; if we turn from Mariette to the men who handle beautiful things now, there is a great gulf.
It is bridged by Basan. By his clever substitution of intelligence for personal taste, by his dexterity in business, his quickness to feel the pulse of the public and take advantage of the market, he may be rivalled but can scarcely be outdone by his successors of to-day. He came of a family of engravers. His first lessons were received from his father and mother, for Cochin pere 2 had married Louise- Madelaine Horthemels, and she as did her two sisters, Mme. Belle worked regularly with her husband. Cochin pere had an admirable tact in seizing the spirit and style of the very dissimilar masters after whom he engraved.
Whether his " sujets des ouvrages en gravure " represent Watteau 3 or Chardin 4 or de Troy, he displays the same quick-witted powers of sympathetic apprehension ; but his " Pompes funebres: Celle de ladite Princesse, a S. Celle du Roy d'Espagne, a Notre-Dame," 5 must reckon amongst his best work, and from these we may single 1 April aQth, ; R.
November 27th and December 4th, From the Catalogue of his work by Jombert, we learn that he gave P. See Salons of and August 3 1st, , on portraits of Lesueur and Sarrazin, Chal. He exhibited at the Salons of , , , ? The best after Watteau is his " Marine de Village. In like manner, the chief successes of Cochin fils were won in the delineation of those court cere- monials such as the "quatre Fetes du premier manage de M. Under his name is grouped an innumerable variety of book-illustrations, fashion plates, trade cards, ornament, book- stamps and portraits of all the celebrities of the century.
In the letter which he wrote with the copy sent to Marigny, Jombert says: J'ay done tache de debrouiller le cahos de la quantite d'ouvrages qu'il a fait. If, however, we could add to the list all the work which he produced during the last twenty years of his life we should reach a more startling figure. His first engraving was, Jombert tells us, made at the age of twelve, and he adds that he had preserved a set of sketches, " Diverses charges des rues de Paris," which had been executed by Cochin when a boy of sixteen.
He had been placed at that time with Restout to complete a training and discipline which seem to have been sufficiently severe under his father's roof, and 1 " Recueil de portraits, etc. As he went to and fro he made sketches in the Chevalier street, and so doing developed that marvellous facility of rapid and accurate observation which served him well when he came to discharge his official duties as " dessinateur et graveur du Cabinet du roy.
His first great popular success was achieved by the brilliant rendering of " La Decoration de Illumination et du feu d'artifice," organized by Servandoni at Versailles, in honour of the marriage of Madame Premiere with Don Philip of Spain. In , the year in which his father was engraving the " Pompe funebre " of Polixene de Hesse-Rhinfels, Queen of Sar- dinia in concert with the Slodtz, by whom it had been carried out in Notre Dame Cochin fils was engaged on the reproduction of a sketch by Dumont le Romain of the illumination given by Cardinal Polignac in on the Piazza Navona, in honour of the birth of the Dauphin.
This work, which was finished by his mother, seems to have led to his employment on an engraving in commemoration of the entertainment given at Meudon to the little Dauphin, in December, , by the Duke of Orleans. The fe"te took place on August 2ist, The engraving was exhibited at the Salon of 1 As soon as it was finished, I showed it to M.
He seemed to want it so keenly, he who was cold and undemon- strative, that I gave it him. It was exhibited in , and it is interesting to find that it attracted the notice of Bouchardon. It was not, as Cochin tells us, until that the expenditure on royal shows became considerable. To the Slodtz fell the conduct of the splendid fetes which then signalized the Dauphin's marriage with his first wife, Marie-Therese d'Autriche, and Cochin gives us lively pictures of the ceremony in the chapel at Versailles ; of the jeu du roi ; of the masked ball which took place in the grand gallery ; of the gala representations given in the theatre which had been arranged in the riding school, and of the no less splendid show of the state ball.
D'apres les Desseins de M. De Bonneval seems to have con- sidered that every representation of court ceremonial which was "sous sa conduitte " ought properly to receive this stamp. In the decorations for the Dauphin's marriage fetes the Slodtz had surpassed themselves.
Everything after that date of a similar character was absolutely entrusted to them, and Cochin's share in the performance had no less serious consequences as to his future, for it brought him directly under the notice of the Court. He had, however, to suffer in more than one way from the ignorance and carelessness of his superiors. Anxious as to the effecT: The printer got drunk and set an incompetent sub- ordinate to do his work, with the result that before a hundred proofs were pulled, the plates, which had been delicately engraved by Cochin pere, were worn out.
Engravings of the "Mariage" and the " Comedie," together with Cochin's drawings of " Le Roy tenant grand appartement " and of the " Illuminations des deux grandes Ecuries," were exhibited at the Salon of Cochin had then left for Italy, for his drawings had not missed their due effecl: Soufflot and the abbe le Blanc, who were also of the party, contributed a stock of sober learning, which was a barely sufficient makeweight for the more lively parts of the "petit Cochin.
The scarcity of his engraving of Pierre's version of " Le Villageois qui cherche son veau " is accounted for by the story that his father angrily broke the plate before it was even entirely finished. Madame de Pompadour could have chosen no more delightful companion for her brother than Cochin. He was not only full of wit and talent, but he had the manners which made him possible at Court and he knew a good deal.
Not indeed very exactly, as a curious passage in one of his letters from Italy bears witness. The letter is in other respects full of interest, for the writer criticises chiefs of the contemporary Italian school: Portalis and Be"raldi as " d'apres Rubens " t. Mariette le c Couronnement d'e"pines,' grave" par Bolswert, d'apres Van Dyck. II y avoit longtemps que je desirois posseder une parfaite e"preuve de cet ouvrage magnifique.
The letter is full of so much detail that it might indeed be a leaf fallen from the note- book out of which Cochin put together on his return the three volumes of his " Voyage d'ltalie. Nous avions vu et vu avec reflexion. Le ridicule nous parut a tous bien sensible et nous ne nous en tumes point. Nos cris gagnerent dans la suite, que SoufHot precha d'exemple.
J'y aiday aussi comme la mouche du coche. The discovery of de Troy's mal- administration and the illness of SoufHot had scarcely ruffled the sense of uninterrupted satisfaction. Cochin, who had succeeded in capturing the goodwill of Marigny and placing himself on a footing of friendly intimacy with him, must have felt that his " petites esperances " were in a fair way of realization, and the next step in his good fortune brought him the letters patent by which he was ennobled, together with the cordon of a " chevalier de 1'ordre de St.
Michel," obtained for him by the all-powerful mistress of the King. To a man so assured of court favour nothing could be refused, and the Academy hastened to receive Cochin, although his diploma work was still in abeyance. On the 27th November, , Coypel informed the Society that the work which their associate, M. Cochin, had been obliged to take in hand for the King, and specially his tour in Italy with M. The letter is preserved in the Egerton MSS. Cochin also published, in , "Observations sur les antiques de Herculanum, avec une dissertation sur les morceaux de peinture et de sculpture trouvds dans cette ville souterraine.
There are various editions of these works. Cochin was on the spot received Academician without any diploma work, and simply contented himself with giving a lecture in the following spring March 4th, on the advantages of an Italian tour. Coypel seems to have been prompted by something like a touch of gentle irony when he replied that all depended on the person: Je n'ay point cette vanite, et n'ay assurement rien a dire que tout le monde ne sache mieux que moy. D'ailleurs je ne croy pas que je pusse jamais surmonter la timidite qui m'est naturelle jusques a ce point.
His fellow members felt that they could not have a better representative. He himself was so deeply touched by his appoint- ment that he was obliged to read instead of speaking his thanks and acknowledgements: The " bureau d'amateurs" 1 June I4th, Mariette, whilst observing that, as far as concerned the Academy, Marigny did nothing except what Cochin told him, adds that this flattering position had its disadvantages, for it induced Cochin to sacrifice his special gifts: II s'est contente de dessiner et d'affecter dans ses dessins d'y mettre ce qu'on appelle de la grande maniere.
After his return from Italy, but before he ceased to engrave, Cochin undertook, in concert with M. He had attached himself to Darcy the banker, and had induced him, as well as one of his confreres, to finance the undertaking. To these there joined himself a M. Bombarde, of whom Cochin tells us that he was simply " un important riche, de ces gens qui font les entendus en tout, sans que Ton S9ache au juste 1 Twenty-nine "estampes de 1'Histoire de France de M. Other drawings for this work appeared at the Salons of , and It is said that the frontispiece only is etched by Cochin fils, and that the other engravings signed C.
Cochin are all by his father. I note, however, that Cochin pere died in ' Mon affaire etoit rangee, il n'en etoit pas question. Mais la partie tipographique etoit importante, et M. The smallest printer knew more than they did. The incessant demands on Cochin's time, the necessity for the strict fulfilment of official obligations, forced him to seek for some one who could not only give him efficient help in his profession but take charge of his house.
On the death of his father he had 1 Me"m. Masse" vient d'orner le sallon " Cochin, " Lettre a un amateur, en r6ponse aux critiques qui ont paru sur 1'exposition des tableaux," Sep- tembre, , CEuv. See also " Eloge hist, de M. The work was begun in and ended in Miger, whom Wille speaks of as " mon eleve," had been employed by Montenault on his edition of the " Fables " both as secretary and superintendent of the printers and engravers.
He had, in facl, relieved his employer of all serious responsibility, but there arose between them a mysterious quarrel, and Miger only consented to remain with Montenault until the completion of the work out of deference to the combined authority and influence of Madame Darcy and Cochin. In June, , when the last proof had passed, Miger took his leave with inexpressible joy, and settled down in the galleries of the Louvre as the " commis " of Cochin with a salary of It.
Cochin ; de sa mere, agee de 80 ans; de sa soeur, personne de 40 ans ; d'une cousine de 50 ans: Miger, therefore, had to do the honours regularly for those whom his master had christened " les sempiternelles ": This last allusion points to the house of Madame Geoffrin, for, as Alexandre Tardieu tells us, " Cochin fils fut 1'oracle du 1 His "Billet Doux," after Boucher, is a pretty example of his work. Wille writes on the 4th Oftober of that year: Cochin, chevalier de 1'ordre de Saint-Michel, graveur du roi, secretaire de l'Acadmie royale de peinture et sculpture, et garde des desseins du Cabinet du roi.
Elle demeuroit avec M. Un monde infini, outre 1' Academic, accompagnait le corps de la deYunte. Elle toit d'une grande douceur et avoit beaucoup et fort bien travai! Elle avoit quatre-vingt sept ans, et il y avoit bien vingt- sept ans que je la connoissois et estimois infiniment. If we look only at the innumerable portraits which he drew, we feel that they might represent the labour of a lifetime. Not a celebrated man, nor charming woman of his day, has escaped the delicate pencil which records their features for us generally in profile with a sincerity invariably tempered by kindly sympathy.
The work which he did for Marigny in connection with his admini- stration of the Fine Arts was onerous and often ungrateful. He had to " menager les Anti-Caylus " in the Academy and at the same time he tells us that he had to remain neutral " et a me garder de leurs conseils qui m'auroient mal pousses et m'auroient fait com- mettre quelques imprudences.
He put his own hand to nine of the fine series " Les principaux evenements du regne de Louis XV par medailles " commissioned by the King. Cernel " the lady concerning whose married life Sergent made indiscreet revela- tions to Restif de la Bretonne. As we follow the lines of Cochin's brilliant activity we must not lay stress on his masterly delineations of court pageants to the 1 Four were exhibited in Cochin refers to this series as the ground on which he thought himself entitled to succeed Bouchardon as " dessinateur des medailles du Roy. The work was never finished, and in his will Cochin leaves to the "Cabinet des dessins" the allegorical drawings "qui se trouvent faits pour 1'histoire mtallique du feu roy " Me'm.
In addition to the many volumes the Chevalier illustrations of which are mainly due to him, innumerable are those in which we find unexpected traces of his hand. His illustrations of " Le Lutrin," exhibited in I, 1 are of inimitable wit and spirit: Compared with these transcriptions from the very life, the allegorical compositions which complete the series are sadly inferior, although they are less mannered than the same class of work executed from Cochin's designs at later dates. From amongst these we may take, for example, the illustra- tions of " L'Origine des Graces," 3 which show a lamentable want of distinction ; but even in his best years Cochin is not really interesting when he is busied either with allegory or the classics.
How inferior is his " Virgil " 4 to the " Lutrin," or to the ex- quisitely dainty trifling of the cuts in the " Pastor Fido "! The truth is that Cochin was great in handling scenes of his 1 There is a great difference between the beauty of the impressions in the early copies. There are six illustrations engraved by Augustin de St. It is noticeable that some are signed " Cochin filius " and one " Cochin eques. Morea [sic] Le j.
All are engraved by Provost, and on two he has added the date 1 Of classic story and Chevalier mythology his conceptions were vague and unmeaning ; he had no more imagination than Boucher ; but let him only touch the pulse of those who breathe the same air as himself and he receives instant inspiration. No better proof of this can be given than is to be found in the admirable drawing of the Life School, ex- hibited in , which shows the students competing for the Prix d'Expression founded by de Caylus.
Every head is drawn with as much care as if it were the subject of independent study, such as that bestowed in on the masterly portrait of Fenouillot de Falbaire, 1 now in Mr. Heseltine's collection, where we also find the superb coloured portrait of the famous litterateur, Antoine Thomas, 2 in the execution of which Cochin has employed and balanced red and black chalk with surprising dexterity and skill. Great were Cochin's opportunities for amassing fortune. The speculation into which he entered with Le Bas 3 for the repro- duction of the " Ports de France," after Joseph Vernet, had a complete commercial success, but Cochin remained poor.
Wille, who always had an eye to business, writes on the nth October, Cochin et le Bas ont gravees d'apres M. J'ay souscrit de nouveau pour six exemplaires des quatre planches suivantes. Vernet, he bien, je vais faire un essay pour tenter de les continuer. Vous penses bien que je n'ay pas la sottise d'imaginer que je feray des Vernets, ce ne seront tout au plus que des Cochins, mais peut-etre s'en contentera-t'on faute de mieux. Two others, giving different views of the port and town of Rouen, were also executed by Cochin, but the engraving of one, at least, was not finished when he died, for in his will, dated April 28th, , the day before his death, special provision was made for its completion.
Lc Chauffard, graveur, la planche du port de Rouen, qui m'appar- Chevalier tient. Bervic devoit 1'etre egalement, par rapport a deux planches non achevees representant deux vues de Rouen que feu M. Hecquet, 2 avocat, faisoient graver en societe. Cette societe etant rompue par la mort de M.
Cochin, les heritiers de celui-cy sont en dispute avec M. Hecquet, qui veut avoir 1'argent avec Tinteret. Bervic, Hecquet, Bel, avocat des heritiers, Basan et un autre s'etoient rendus chez moi pour 1'ar- rangement de cette affaire, mais rien ne put etre decide. Duplessis, has appended a note to the effect that these two planches were probably never finished ; that there is no mention made of them anywhere ; and that in spite of every search he has been unable to find a single proof.
They were, however, most certainly finished and exhibited. The catalogue of the Salon for contains entries of " Vue du Port et de la Ville de Rouen, prise de la pointe de 1'Isle de la Croix," and " Vue du Port et de la Ville de Rouen, prise de la petite chaussee. Cochin and engraved under the direction of Le Bas and Choffard. The two engravings are, we are told, the Nos. He did not love Cochin, perhaps because he owed him so much. The Chevalier Cochin, says Alexandre Tardieu, was the regular source of all Diderot's tech- nical information, but again and again he goes out of his way to abuse him.
In the Salon of he taxes Cochin with being " homme de bonne compagnie qui fait des plaisanteries, des soupers agreables, et qui neglige son talent. The reason for this anxiety is to be partly found in Cochin's indebtedness to Descamps, who had advanced money to him which was to be paid out of the profits to be made after the completion and publication of the " Port de Rouen. The engravings are of unequal merit, but some are very happy. I never look, for example, at the " Vue de la Ville et de la Rade de Toulon " without the most lively admiration for the amusing groups of figures by which it is peopled, and without recalling Mariette's reference to Cochin's work on the " Ports de France": Brilliant talk and good company did no such injury to his art as was in- flicted by the pernicious classicisms and allegories which he brought back from Italy.
They were more probably necessary to its per- fection. In the myriad groups of pleasure-seekers who figure in Cochin's representations of royal ceremonies dancers, sightseers, busy gamesters at the table of thejeu du roi we find a freedom, an ease, a style, a liveliness of air which show perfect familiarity with the ways and customs of those whose pomps and vanities were the subject of his pencil. It is this intimate acquaintance with the manners of good company, with the shades of bearing which differentiate the various elements which make a Court and which distinguish the actors from the onlookers, that gives to Cochin's work such brilliant interest.
It is probably this feature that impressed M. Cochin's last years were darkened and embarrassed by the treacherous robbery of which he became the victim. II estoit a ma table meme quand j'avois compagnie. N'en parlons plus, le sang me bout de rage, cependant je n'ay point porte plainte. Je ne veux point me preparer de nouveaux chagrins tels que ceux de M. Pierre lorsqu'il a fait pendre 1'eleve qui 1'avoit vole. Eight to nine hundred proofs of the " Ports de France " unlettered proofs worth 30!. However, in this respect I have lost nothing. It is true that I keep these things more strictly than I do my own goods.
Marigny seems to have always required the attendance of Cochin when making visits to studios. He probably looked to his companion for protection against the weakness of his own judgement. Basseporte, du jardin du roi. C'etait pour diner chez M. They were men who had learned their lessons in the school of Edelinck, of Nanteuil or of Gerard Audran, and the severity of their training made possible the achievements of a later day the triumphs of Choffard's fairy-like point and the miniature excellence of Gaucher or of Ficquet.
The variety of purpose which claimed the services of the engraver as the years went by demanded variety of method, but the training of the elder school gave to the elegances of later eighteenth-century work that irreproachable distinction which is not the least of its claims to consideration. That is why it is well here to mention the Audran, and although much of their work belongs in truth to the days of the " Grand Monarque," not to forget either Pierre Drevet or his even more gifted son.
The masterly execution of Gerard Audran the engraver of the " Batailles d'Alexandre " calculated with admirable economy of resource, had given perfect expression to the formal and rhetori- cal art of the " great century. The same qualities are even more marked in the " Seven Dr f v T et , Sacraments," after Poussin, by that third brother, Benoit, 1 who was Francois also sent by his father to his uncle Gerard, at the age of seventeen; Daulle.
The teaching of Gerard Audran was better assimilated by his pupil, Pierre Drevet, 3 than by any member of his own family. No better work of its kind exists than the superb series of portraits which Pierre Drevet engraved after Rigaud 4 and Largilliere. Beginning with that of Maximilien Titon and the young Duke de Lesdiguieres, 5 we pass to those of Felibien des Avaux and of Colbert, archbishop of Rouen, which are even superior to the two celebrated portraits of Louis XIV.
The most complete account of the family of engravers to which Pierre Drevet belonged was given by M. Ambroise Firmin-Didot when he published the " Catalogue raisonne " of their work, which is still the best we have, although we owe fresh documents to M. Rolland, greffier de paix a Givors" whose " arriere-grand'- mere " was the niece of Claude Drevet.
Rolland, " d'apres les acles dont vous avez la copie, que la famille Drevet de Loire a ete de tous temps une des premieres families du pays. He lived in the Luxembourg with Claude. He was the son of Jean Audran, who lived at the Gobelins. He began, like most young engravers, by doing portraits for Odieuvre, but we find his name on various prints after Watteau. The picture itself is No. See also Jal, usually a trustworthy source of information. Holy Baptism, having been christened " a la maison propter imminens mortis periculum " on the aoth of the preceding July.
His training, which had be- gun under Germain Audran at Lyons, 2 was completed in the school of the famous Ge'rard Audran in Paris, but he was forty when we first find his name on the books of the Academy. Up to that time his situation must have been rather uncertain, yet, amongst the engravings executed by him, under the protection of Gerard Audran, there are several that must rank with his best work. At the beginning of the century a special impulse was given to their production by their selection as the subject for the diploma works of engravers.
He had presented himself on the a8th September, , and was obliged to claim the protection of the Society, two years later, 4 against the vexations of the imprimeurs en faille douce, who were unwilling to recognize the freedom of an agree 1. In spite of this need for protection there was an immense delay before Pierre Drevet fulfilled his obligations. The portrait of Robert de Cotte, after Rigaud proposed in he undertook to engrave in , but it was not delivered by him until fifteen years later. Germain was the son of Claude le pere and brother of Ge'rard, but an indifferent workman who never left Lyons A.
Keller and of that delightfully insolent old lady " Marie par la grace de Dieu, Souveraine de Neuf-chatel et Vallangin, Duchesse de Nemours," all belong to this period. The same obligations were imposed on Drevet le fils, 1 when he The in his turn presented himself. In the great series of their work it would be difficult to separate that of the father from that of the son, or that of either from that which they produced together, were it not for the evidence of dates and signatures. Throughout his life the father had had the command, as engraver, of all the most important work that was produced in France.
His son had, therefore, before his eyes, from his earliest days, examples of a class calculated to stimulate his re- markable talent. As Mariette tells us, he received from his father daily lessons, not only in skill but in unwearying patience and conscientious devotion to his exacting art. If he could only attain his ends, he counted as nothing the time and the labour often mere drudgery which he had to give to his work.
Pierre-Imbert, thus trained, distinguished himself at an age when others are but feeling their way. At twenty-six he had already produced his superb portrait of Bossuet, 3 a work which shows all the quality of his father's admirable handling of the graver. There is the same brilliancy, the same economy of means, the same freedom and breadth in the treatment of the voluminous draperies in which his model, Rigaud, delighted and the same delicate precision in the rendering of head and hands.