Œuvres de Jean Baptiste Le Prince, peintre du Roy
In-folio; half tan basane, spine with six raised bands, gilt fillet to the caissons, red morocco title-piece (period binding).
Provenance: From the library of Jean Furstenberg, bibliophile banker (1890-1982), with his bookplate.
A copy with large margins.
Beautiful and rare posthumous collection consisting of a title and 163 fine engravings printed on 54 plates, including 88 etchings (on 26 leaves) and 75 aquatints (on 28 leaves).
This collection gathers numerous views, costumes, trades and scenes of manners drawn from life by Le Prince during his long stay in Russia, engraved here by himself, some of them according to his new process. This suite of engravings could be sold as a whole or separately.
The present set includes:1. Various adjustments and uses of Russia (10 engravings on 4 plates) -2. Various dresses of the priests of Russia (10 engravings on 3 pl.) -3. The Strelits (8 engravings on 2 plates) -4. Suite of various clothes of the northern peoples (6 engravings on 3 plates) -5. First suite of cries and various merchants of Petersburg and Moscow (6 engravings on 3 plates) -6. 2nd suite of various cries of merchants of Russia (6 engravings on 3 pl.) -7. Third suite of various cries of merchants of Russia (6 engravings on 1 plate) -8. II suitte of clothing of the women of Muscovy (6 engravings on 1 pl.)9. Various dresses of the women of Muscovy (6 engravings on 1 plate) -10. Clothes of various nations (6+2 engravings on 1 plate) -11. Various views of Livonia (6+2 engravings on 1 plate) -12. Various trades, seasons, views of the surroundings of St. Petersburg (8 engravings on 3 plates).
[Aquatints] :1. 2nd suite of clothing of various nations (8 engravings on 1 plate) -2. 1st suite of Hairdresses (6 engravings on 1 plate) -3. Various subjects, the senses, the trades, the cake merchant, officers, musician, the nurse, the Polish lamp, the Russian dance, the Russian boats, the Moskou cabaret, O fortunatos, the rest, etc. (61 engravings on 26 plates).
The various suites are dedicated by the artist to Messrs François Boucher, the Count of Caylus, Sainfoy, Vernet, etc. (Some foxing, one corner missing. One headband restored, binding slightly rubbed)Cohen, 625-27 - Colas, 1850.
Jean Baptiste Le Prince (1734-1781) was a student of François Boucher. He traveled in Italy, in Holland, then undertook in 1757 a long journey of 5 years in Russia. Active in St. Petersburg, he executed various commissions through the French ambassador, the Marquis de l'Hôpital, working in particular for Empress Elizabeth I on the decoration of the ceilings of the Winter Palace, and for the Russian nobility. Back in Paris in 1762, he was admitted to the Royal Academy of Painting in 1765 and exhibited at the Salon the same year.
Skilled draughtsman and engraver, Le Prince is known for his invention of a new type of genre scene, but also and above all for having perfected the technique of aquatint, which he calls "engraving in the manner of wash", which "reproduces to deceive the washes of sepia and bistre".