Une famille en danger - Soupçons sur un amour (Harlequin Black Rose) (French Edition)

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Une famille en danger - Soupçons sur un amour (Harlequin Black Rose)

De Launay has left many admirable render- ings of the work of Baudouin and Lavreince. The Swede, Lafrensen, from whose delicate gouaches De Launay drew inspiration for these four prints, having Gallicised his name into " Lavreince," caught most of the delicate French spirit of his day, and faithfully reflected the fashionable world of Paris, which in its pleasures, at least, had attained to something like perfection.

Love plays a considerable part in his compo- sitions, but with him the little god is always restrained, always a grand seigneur suiting himself to the best society. Besides his masterpieces amongst which, as has been said, " Les Hasards heureux de 1'escarpolette" takes the first place , De Launay executed a number of other prints, which are for the most part charming.

Every print which this engraver executed still exists in the state of pure etching, and, as a rule, a certain number of impressions were struck with the title, but before the dedication. He was particularly skilful in his handling of groups, and his graver appears to have possessed the peculiar faculty of being in close sympathy with the subject which it portrayed. For renderings of large portraits his aptitude seems to have been small, little vignettes for book illustrations being more suited to his especial gifts.

Some of these indeed are veritable gems. An expert in the command of light, De Launay was also a singularly even engraver, and one always displaying conscientiousness of treat- ment combined with great facility of execution. For him difficulties did not exist, as may be realised from an examination of his treatment of many a scene which, at first sight having the appearance of simplicity itself, is really the result of careful and masterly execution.

Of another nature is the work of the two Cochins, father and son, which has many affinities to the compositions popular in a pre- ceding age. Amongst the French engravers of the eigh- teenth century a very important place must be allotted to Charles Nicolas Cochin Cochin jits], whose historical engravings are of the very highest interest. The " Ceremonie du manage du Dauphin " and the "Decoration de la salle de spectacle" are sufficient proof of his talents in this direction. Cochin was a man whose industry was un- bounded, and the number of portraits he designed was very large. At one time or other, indeed, almost every one of importance in the France of his day posed before this artist.

As a designer and engraver of ball tickets and other similar trifles, Cochin was absolutely unrivalled. The "Billet de Bal pare," , when on old paper papier verge is extremely valuable and rare. It may be added that two different sorts of tickets were issued one for the Porte et gradins a droite, which is very fine, and another for the Porte et gradins a gauche, which is much inferior.

The great historical engravings, such as were executed by the Cochins, appeal more specially to the student and historian than to the admirer of Pestampe gal ante , who seeks rather for prints epitomising the existence of that pleasure-loving France which perished so utterly in the ghastly days of the " Terror. Baudouin's art, if at times less restrained than that of Lavreince, is always pretty, and frequently full of refined FRENCH PRINTS 33 beauty, whilst his graceful figures betoken great faculties of observation, and are, for the most part, animated with genuine life.

Baudouin was a hard worker work and plea- sure killed him, for he died, as a contemporary critic says," epuise par le travail et le plaisir. It is not by these, however, that his memory still lives, but rather by his exquisite rendering of such designs as " La Toilette " and " L'Enleve- ment nocturne. The engraving is rendered the more attractive by the delightful border or frame, the work of Cochin. This was published in , and was dedicated to the engraver's friend Basan. As an engraver of vignettes for Le Parnasse des dames and Les Fables de Dorat, and other books, Ponce did a great deal of excellent work.

Like most artists of that day, he appears to have hailed the coming of the Revolution, being gazetted Chef de Bataillon of the Garde Nationale, and writing several political pamphlets of an advanced character. Neverthe- less, on the return of the Bourbons, Ponce, who had been engraver to the Comte d'Artois, was once more established in his old post. Living on for some years, he died as late as Another engraver who was a favourite inter- preter of the work of Baudouin was Jean Baptiste Simonet, whose three most celebrated prints are " Le Coucher de la mariee," " Le Modele honnete," and " La Soiree des Tuileries.

Diderot in particular pretended to be scandalised at the selection and treatment of such a subject. Nevertheless this pretty composition is entirely inoffensive, the engraving being rightly con- sidered one of the glories of the French eighteenth-century school. Begun by Moreau le jeune, who etched the plate, Simonet finished it with great discretion and delicacy of touch Moreau himself being so pleased with the result that from that date he gave Simonet many more plates to engrave.

Amongst a number of other engravers who, foreigners by birth, became Frenchmen from choice, Jean Georges Wille Wille the elder occupies a prominent place in the history of French eighteenth-century engraving. Born at Konigsberg, in the territory of Hesse-Darmstadt, his natural aptitude for art led to his being sent as a youth into a gunsmith's shop, there to engrave the mounts which decorated the firearms of the day.

Determined to try his luck in Paris, he arrived in that capital with another young engraver, Schmidt, whom he chanced to meet upon his way. The meeting in question was an extremely fortunate one for Wille, as it later on procured him an introduction to Rigaud, after which his prosperity soon became assured. The fashionable world took him into favour, and it became a rule for all patrons of the arts to call upon Wille during their sojourn in Paris. He was in constant communication with people of taste all over the civilised world ; the English engravers, Woollett, Vivares, Ryland, and Smith were his friends, whilst Byrne was his pupil.

In Alderman Boydell with his daughter and niece came to call upon him, whilst aristocratic amateurs, belonging to all nations, were constant visitors at his house. He was also in close touch with all the chief art dealers, and was perpetually engaged in negotiations connected with their business.

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On the other hand, the old engraver took the trouble to go and view the corpse of him whom he terms the unfortunate and unhappy Marat and whose assassination he deplored. An ardent and enlightened collector, he was a constant attendant at sales. The catalogue of his own sale, which took place at the Hotel de Bullion, is, it may be added, of considerable rarity. To the end of his life, however, Wille retained his collection of coins and medals, to which he continued to add even during the days of the Revolution, a social convulsion which seems in no way to have affected the old man's comfort or prosperity.

It is to be regretted that Wille, though pos- sessed of considerable talent, should have repro- duced so much second-class work, a number of prints by him after Dietrich of Dresden and others, including the younger Wille, being of very moderate interest. One of his best pro- ductions is " Le Concert de famille," after Schalken, though " Les Musiciens ambulants," after Dietrich, is generally considered his master- piece. Both of these prints are of considerable value, especially in the proof states, which are extremely difficult to obtain.

The most spirited portrait, however, engraved by Wille is that of the Marechal de Saxe, after Rigaud a superb piece of work which, together with the " Prince de Galles," after Tocque, is entirely free from the somewhat metallic appearance which occasionally mars this engraver's productions. In connection with Wille it should be re- marked that his pupils as a rule manifested a tendency towards the reproduction of large portraits and pictures, whereas those of Le Bas seem to have shown a decided preference for the vignette. Wille exercised a great influence over his pupils, many of whom became excellent engravers.

Bervic, whose real name was Balvay, did not yield to the cult of the estampe galante which prevailed towards the end of the eighteenth century. Adhering to the classical tradition of a more serious age, he took immense pains in the engraving of his work, and although he lived to the age of sixty-six, he completed only sixteen plates, not infrequently devoting several years to one alone. The portrait of Louis XVI. It is said to be about the best of French royal portraits, and is in considerable request with collectors.

During the Revolution, Bervic, warned that the authorities were about to pay him a visit with a view to destroying the plate of this portrait, broke it up himself, but many years later the pieces, which had been preserved, were put to- gether and a new set of impressions were struck.

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These, however, are not equal to the original prints, and bear traces of the reparation to which the plate was subjected. Of the two great amateurs, Mariette and the Comte de Caylus, this is not the place to speak, the work of both these distinguished patrons of art not coming within the scope of this book. Artists, publishers, and engravers feasted and supped together, whilst most of them flung away the sums earned by the exercise of their talents without the slightest hesitation or restraint.

For them the spirit of economy did not exist ; children as regards money, a full purse served but to gratify the caprice of the moment. Ever ready to give or to lend, and careless of the morrow, they trusted in a future which brought to the majority but poverty and woe. Ill-luck, indeed, seems to have dogged the steps of the originators of colour-engraving in particular. Born at Metz in , Le Prince, after taking lessons in painting in his native city, resolved to make his way to Paris, there to study under some great painter of the day. The young artist, extravagant and pressed for money, married, when only eighteen, a woman of forty, whose fortune he at once set to work to spend.

The inevitable crisis soon occurred, and Le Prince, leaving his wife, went to Italy, where he did a certain amount of work. Soon, however, he was back in Paris ; but again, harassed by creditors, he set out for Russia, his brothers being already at Moscow, where they followed a musical career.

Going by sea from Holland, the ship on which he had sailed was plundered by English pirates, but Le Prince, who played the riddle well, became so popular owing to his musical gifts, that the corsairs allowed him to retain his baggage. After spending five busy years in Russia, Le Prince returned once more to Paris, where, in , his " Bapteme Russe" gained him admission into the Academy. These, for the most part, depicted scenes which he had sketched whilst in Russia. Le Prince died when forty-seven years old, worn out, it is said, by dissipation and worry.

Never- theless he had been a hard worker, and at one time and another made a good deal of money, though this never prevented his affairs being perpetually embarrassed. Before long the new method was public property, many engravers adopting and improv- ing the process with excellent results. Amongst these was Franois Janinet, who applied colour instead of the wash which had been brushed over the varnished and etched plate by Le Prince, and set up the claim of being the only engraver who had discovered the secret of this sort of reproduction. The first essay of Janinet in this direction is " L'Operateur," a little round coloured print representing a mountebank.

Two of the best of these are "La Comparaison" and "L'Aveu difficile" veritable triumphs of the colour-engraver's art. Another masterpiece is " L'Indiscretion " see Frontispiece. Besides being an engraver, Janinet aspired to fame as an aeronaut, constructing with the Abbe Miolan a large balloon, which, however, entirely failed to justify the confidence of its makers. In July the two inventors announced that an ascent would take place from the garden of the Luxembourg, and a huge crowd assembled to witness the triumph of the artistic aeronaut. Everything went wrong, however, and instead of soaring to the skies, the balloon caught fire, and Janinet and his friends were obliged to fly for their lives.

The fury of the crowd on this occasion appears to have frightened the engraver so much that he totally abandoned ballooning, for we hear no more of any further efforts of his in this direction. Though Janinet was not, as he claimed to be, the only engraver who had discovered the art of producing colour-prints, he undoubtedly did invent a process which in his hands gave results possessing considerable charm his portrait of Marie Antoinette, for instance, is a masterpiece. With the outbreak of the Revolution, this engraver, like the majority of his contemporaries, lost his talent, the compositions executed by him becoming cold, laboured, and devoid of artistic merit.

Janinet, who was always making experiments in the way of compounding and combining colours, called himself " physicien" As a matter of fact he attained great skill in the harmonious blending of different tints, as the beautiful prints which he executed testify. In this direction his 5 Q i! Nevertheless Janinet was not, like Debucourt, a thorough student and recorder of manners or costume, but succeeded more by the prettiness of his compositions than by any accurate power of observation. His command of colour is particularly shown in " La Toilette de Venus" , in which he has marvellously rendered the opalescent tones and the pearl-like rosiness of tint so dear to the painter Boucher.

Another chef-d ceuvre of colour- printing is the portrait of Mademoiselle Bertin, the modiste of Marie Antoinette. Janinet is most successful when dealing with subjects after Lavreince, whose peculiar form of art was specially suited and adapted for repro- duction in engravings in colour. Deficient in power when rendering full and strong hues, Lavreince was a complete master of delicate tones. Faint blues and violets, roses and feathers, all of which were well within his scope, were faithfully shown by Janinet, who brought colour- engraving very near to perfection.

For the production of prints such as " L'ln- discretion," " La Comparaison," and the like, real artistic feeling was necessary, as well as great manual dexterity. Another beautiful colour-print by this engraver, after Huet, is " Les Sentiments de la nation. Born in Frankfort in , this engraver, after going to Rome and Amsterdam, came to London, where he hoped to apply his process of colour-printing to the reproduction of pictures. Misfortune overtook him, however, and discouraged by the failure of a tapestry manu- factory which caused his bankruptcy, he betook himself, an old man, to France, where he succeeded in interesting Louis XV.

The colour-printing of Le Blond consisted in superposing three plates, red, yellow, and blue, at least one of them being mezzotinted. These were afterwards increased to four or five. The method he employed was very expensive and did not prove at all a commercial success, the inventor dying a poor man at the age of seventy-one. The experiments of Le Blond, however, were followed up by Jacques Gauthier Dagoty of Marseilles, who, an anatomist by profession, became an engraver in the hope of making a fortune.

His method was to employ only the four colours, black, blue, yellow, red. This invention was undoubtedly an important one, but nevertheless, with some few exceptions, Dagoty was not conspicuously successful, his prints being faulty in design, whilst the colouring was too often confused and faint.

A portrait of Madame du Barry, with Zamor her black page, executed in Dagoty's style by his son, Edouard, is, however, a beautiful work of art. Born at Liege in , Demarteau, it would seem, rather copied than invented the process he employed, which was in reality but an adaptation of the ingenious methods of another engraver Jean Charles Fran9ois, a native of Lorraine. Under Boucher's directions, Demarteau produced facsimiles of quite extra- ordinary perfection ; " Une femme couchee sur le ventre," a pendant " Nymph," " Une femme qui dort avec son enfant," and others of a similar nature were exhibited in the Salon of The work of Demarteau has of late years been rising in value, and his pleasing little imitations of pastel now command a certain price, according to the subjects which they portray.

In a great many cases Demarteau dedicated his facsimiles in red chalk to rich financiers who were profitable clients. Towards the end of the eighteenth century a considerable interest was taken in the various processes of colour-engraving, this form of repro- duction being especially adapted for the rendering of the gouaches of Baudouin, Lavreince, and other artists dealing with the lighter sides of life.

Collectors of that day realised that a pleasant diversity was produced by the inclusion of a certain number of coloured prints in their portfolios ; a large quantity of etchings, line engravings, and stipple, tending somewhat to a monotony which needed relief. Nevertheless, too many coloured prints in the same style do not produce a good effect ; it must also not be forgotten that, in some cases, many of those representing shepherdesses and nymphs were not intended for decorative purposes at all, being executed merely as studies for students learning to draw. This especially applies to the work of Demarteau, whose process of reproduction was frequently devoted to such an aim.

Louis Bonnet was another engraver who also copied the crayon designs of Boucher, in the imitation of which he sometimes even surpassed Demarteau. He it was who invented what may be termed " Pastel Engraving. In addi- tion to this he was also a dealer, and published in a catalogue, now of the most extreme rarity.

For some very good reason he was in the habit of asking more for those of his prints having English titles than for the rest of his work. His most characteristic prints are the large heads of women executed by him after Lagrenee or Boucher. These are in imitation of pastels, and very cleverly done. His studies in red chalk, after Boucher, are also excellent ; indeed his process of reproduction might have been invented specially for the imitation of Boucher's designs, which they rendered with far more fidelity than any line engraving could ever do.

It must be added that the prints inscribed " Bonnet direxit " were for the most part produced in his atelier by inferior en- gravers for foreign exportation. Amongst these were a few set in a frame of gold, a somewhat meretricious form of embellishment which has of late years been rather sought after by certain collectors, who have run up heads of women mounted in this way to a considerable price.

Towards the close of the eighteenth century in France it was the aspiration of every good engraver, especially when working in colour, to assimilate his style as closely as might be to that of the design which was to be reproduced, breaking away where possible from the ordinary method of merely making a copy, by means of the inven- tion of some new and more satisfactory process.

Here indeed was a true artist, who at his best successfully defied all imitation. Eclipsing Janinet and other rivals, Debucourt by a clever superposition of plates produced a form of colour- print which is totally different from other com- positions executed in anything of the same style. There is a special delicacy and refinement of touch about the engravings of this master which strike a distinctive note. Never has colour- printing been carried to such perfection as in the best of his work.

Born in , of a good middle-class family, Louis Philibert Debucourt does not appear to have ever found that opposition to his adoption of art as a career which is frequently the lot of youths in such a station of life, his father being, above all, a man of free and advanced ideas, who, originally an huissier a cheva! In the year he was procureur fiscal at La Chapelle Saint-Denis ; and a requisition of his still exists, calling upon the Parisian electors to furnish two hundred muskets, wherewith to arm some soldiers under his command.

The youthful Debucourt had always mani- fested a considerable taste for painting, and in due course entered the studio of Vien. Here, however, he did not remain long, being apparently out of sympathy with the school of painting to which the precursor of David belonged. When twenty-six years old, Debucourt married a daughter of the sculptor Mouchy.

Jean Baptiste Debu- court, to his father's great grief, died at the age of twenty, having in his short life shown promise of great artistic aptitude. When nearly fifty, Debucourt contracted a second marriage with a M lle Marquant, the aunt of a M. Jazet, who entered his new relative's studio with a view to learning aquatint. A picture by Debucourt exists of his second wife, which shows her as a woman of about forty, with an exceedingly clever face. In her hand is a letter, on which is written, " Mon amie.

Such was very far from being the case, for in Debucourt was manifested the almost perfect type of the artistic temperament, which, thoroughly careless of the morrow, contemptu- ous of economy and impatient of control, yields easily to many a passing caprice. For prudence, economy, and foresight Debucourt ever enter- tained a deep and profound contempt, deeming apparently that they were considerations quite unworthy of entering into an artist's life. A man of no very stable convictions, Debucourt threw himself with some ardour into the revolutionary movement, and he who, as De Bucourt, had painted " Humanite et bienfaisance du Roi," produced as Debucourt his correct name, by the way the " Calendrier republicain 1'an II.

He appears in his political con- victions to have had much in common with the celebrated Vicar of Bray. A staunch royalist under Louis XVI. Later on, however, when Napoleon assumes the dictatorship of France, he cordially acquiesces in the new order of things, publishing " La Paix a Buonaparte Pacificateur," and, later on, a picture of the great emperor. The restoration then once more arouses his royalist sentiments, and in due course we find him issuing prints of " Louis XVIII. Compare, for instance, "Les deux Baisers" the original picture, " La feinte Caresse," was exhibited by Debucourt in the Salon of with such a production as " Les Gastronomes affames," which is indeed more akin to an inferior Bartolozzi than to anything else.

Of the colour-prints of Debucourt, " Les deux Baisers " is undoubtedly one of the most charming. A good impression is now very difficult to find, as the print has greatly in- creased in value within the last few years. In 1 88 1 a second state fetched three thousand francs; but in and third states were sold at auction for two thousand, and seventeen hundred and fifty.

At the present time, of course, a far higher figure would be bid. The best work of Debucourt abounds in a grace, a distinction, which is totally lacking once the nineteenth century has fairly launched itself upon its course of years. In his own particular line Debucourt at first easily distanced all rivals, the lightness of effect which he managed to extract from his copper-plates being perfectly marvellous. Above all he obtained a certain satinity of tone if such an expression may be used which no other artist has ever succeeded in producing. Of the first named there are five, and of the latter four, states.

This latter print, curiously enough, had itself been produced as a pendant to " La Noce de village," by Descourtis, after Taunay. Four states exist, of which the fourth has Emprime corrected to Imprime. In the third state the numbers are shown on the shops , , , , , whilst in the second No.

This print is said to abound in portraits, and in some cases personal spite is declared to have been gratified by the artist, notably in the portrait of the dwarf. The pendant to this " Promenade " is " La Promenade du jardin du Palais-Royal," also dated , unsigned, and very generally especially in England attributed to Debucourt. Of this there is a small reduction, which in 1 88 1, at the Miihlbacher sale, fetched two hundred francs ; but since then its value has, of course, increased.

Noattempt is here made at caricature, such as is evident in " La Promenade de la galerie " ; indeed, the whole composition is a poetic and true picture of Parisian society as it existed in the year Beneath the chestnut trees which furnished Camille Des Moulins with his revolutionary cockade, we see the crowd of careless pleasure-seekers, amongst them the Due de Chartres stretched out upon four chairs, ogling the frail beauties who found in those gardens a convenient rendezvous.

Every type of pleasure-loving Parisian is here carefully studied, the grouping of the figures being admir- able. The whole print, so highly characteristic of the epoch, constitutes an artistic record which is, in short, a very poem of elegance. Five states of this engraving exist, of which the first in colours has frequently fetched over francs, whilst even in an example was sold in Paris for francs.

The " Promenade de la galerie du Palais " and the "Promenade publique" constitute Debucourt's chief claim to artistic immortality ; for in these two compositions he has bequeathed to us a fascinating picture of the amusing side of the life of his time, when a throng of pleasure-seekers were wont to make their headquarters in the gardens of the Palais- Royal, which to-day, except for an occasional belated tourist, are quite silent and deserted.

Indeed, the Frenchman's work bears many traces of having gathered a good deal of inspiration from the English school. In Debucourt placed all his talent at the service of the Revolution, and produced " L'Almanach national dedie aux amis de la Constitution," one of the most artistic of the revolutionary publications. In it appears a medallion containing a portrait of Louis XVI. The little groups are designed with much cleverness and spirit, the whole com- position being of course Utopian in the extreme.

A French soldier, enfolding an Englishman in a brotherly embrace, is shown inviting a Turk and an Indian to join the fraternal confederation, whilst aristocracy is pictured in a very unpleasant light. Perhaps the gem of this composition is the revolutionary Press, which is represented by a charming girl selling patriotic papers and broadsheets, whilst she treads underfoot the sheets issued by the enemies of liberty.

With the close of the eighteenth century comes the annihilation of this artist's talent. Step by step he glides from gaiety into buffoonery, later on to border very closely upon caricature itself, too often, alas! This is a very good print, and every detail is well brought out. For some time before the publication of this composition Debucourt had become little more than the interpreter of the work of his friend Carle Vernet, who, it must be said, was fully conscious of the debt which he owed to his engraver.

The two collaborating together produced a whole series of prints dealing with military costume, etc. Hence- forth he appears to have been perfectly content to sink the undoubted originality and talent which he had so often shown himself to possess. In he left Passy, where he had long resided and where he had contracted his second marriage, and proceeded to take up his residence in the suburbs of Paris, near the Barriere de la Chapelle. Here for some years he lived a sort of country life after his own heart. He surrounded himself with pets, and his grounds teemed with rabbits, pigeons, and chickens, none of which were ever allowed to meet with that violent death which is their usual lot.

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In almost perfect freedom they lived out their lives, whilst Nature alone gave them the signal for retreat. The garden was allowed to run wild, flowers blooming and fruits ripening as the seasons willed, while the children of the neighbourhood were accorded free licence to pluck whatever they might fancy. Jazet, where the old man con- tinued to work almost to the last day of his life, dying under the illusion, most delicately and honourably suggested to him by his relative, that he owed the comfort and comparative luxury with which he was surrounded to his own efforts as a still active artist.

His death took place on the 22nd of September It is difficult to determine exactly what place in art should be accorded to Debucourt, for his talent was of an exceedingly uneven character, and much of his later work is quite execrable. In any case, however, his name will always be remembered by reason of his prints of the Palais- Royal, which are veritable human documents.

A French critic, M. Vaucaire, has, indeed, declared that in his opinion " La Promenade publique " alone is worth all the memoirs of its day, for it is the illustration to a book which there is no necessity to read, so fully does its life and colour furnish the material wherewith to reconstitute the epoch which Debucourt pictured. As an engraver, Debucourt produced an immense number of prints from the designs of others than himself.

Besides doing much work for Carle Vernet, he also engraved after Charlet, Hippolyte, Lecomte, Le Camus, Webster, and Wilkie, never, however, attaining that excellence which he reaches in his own " La Noce au chateau," or " Les deux Baisers. Notably is this the case in the two beautiful colour-prints which indifferent modern reproductions have rendered generally familiar " La Foire de village " and " La Noce de village," two of a set of four after Taunay.

Descourtis, it may be added, executed but a very small number of engravings twenty at most, and of these only six are of any particular value. He was a pupil of Janinet, and his style was much the same as that of his master. His other productions, with the exception of " La Rixe " and " Le Tambourin " which complete the set of four mentioned above , are of little value.

It should be added that un- coloured reductions of " La Foire de village " and " La Noce de village " exist. These are in considerable request. They then began to depict scenes connected with history and politics. Morret, who had engraved in colours a good many prints after Augustin de St-Aubin, Borel, Huet, and others, in executed a large colour-print after Swebach-Desfontaines, which deserves considerable attention. In the first state they wear Grenadier fur caps ; in the second, one has a Phrygian bonnet and the other a helmet. Amongst other prints by Morret a very characteristic one is " L'heureux Pressentiment," which represents Marie Louise playing the piano whilst looking at a picture of Napoleon.

Occa- sionally Morret in his post-revolutionary manner becomes grotesque. It may be added that two prints by this engraver, executed before the new order of things had come into being, are exces- sively rare. Though the Revolution was, as has been said, fatal to the prosperity of the great majority of French artists and engravers, some few were affected in a lesser degree, and amongst these was Louis Boilly, who continued to exhibit fine qualities of draughtsmanship and design long after the revolutionary storm had spent its force.

He died indeed as late as , having long out- lived the generation which he had pleased as a designer of sujets de boudoir during the pleasure- loving days of the ancien regime. During the Directoire, Boilly produced a number of compositions, of which a good many were executed by an engraver of no very great talent, named Petit. Prints such as " Defends- moi," " Tu saurais ma pensee," " Ah!

On the other hand, certain coloured and uncoloured prints after Boilly have within recent years attained a considerable rise in value. Amongst these must be mentioned "L'Optique," a coloured print by Cazenave ; " La douce Resistance," gracefully engraved by Tresca, and " Le Prelude de Nina," by Chaponnier, who also executed " L'Amant favorise " and " Le Bouquet cheri " after this artist.

Nor must a curious composition by Bonnefoy, after Boilly, be over- looked. This is called "La Marche incroyable," modern impressions of which are quite common, though original ones are equally rare. The tendency of certain prints after Boilly, who was a fine draughtsman, is in some cases rather free. The licence, indeed, in which he occasionally indulged, once nearly got him into serious trouble with the Comite du Salut Public. By good fortune he was warned in time, and at once set to work on a " Triomphe de Marat" a composition which, together with some rather high-flown expressions of devotion to republican ideals, ensured his safety.

The work of Boilly is characterised by such a personal accent as to cause its almost immediate recognition by every one having the slightest acquaintance with this painter. The prolific producer of a very large number of small portraits, he perpetuated the features of many persons intimately connected with the Revolu- 62 FRENCH PRINTS tion, whilst in all probability others of almost equal historical importance remain unidentified in certain of his compositions.

The young woman standing at a table with a little boy in "L'Optique" reproduced opposite is supposed to be the second wife of Danton. Mademoiselle Louise Gely had been a great friend of the first Madame Danton, who, almost with her dying breath, expressed a wish that her husband should marry this young girl of sixteen, to whom she knew him to be devoted.

The family to which Mademoiselle Gely belonged was by no means sympathetic to such a match. Imbued with all the traditions and beliefs which Danton sought to destroy, its members would only accord their consent on condition that a religious ceremony should be performed ; a condition to which there was every reason to believe Danton would never consent. Love, however, in him, as in the case of many other great men, easily triumphed over political convictions, and seeking out one of the recalcitrant Catholic priests who lay concealed in different parts of Paris, hoping to escape that death which the law voted by the would-be bridegroom and his associates had prescribed, Danton went through a religious ceremony secretly performed by the Abbe de Keravenan, who had previously heard the confession of this redoubtable pillar of the Convention.

After the death of the great tribune the second Madame Danton reassumed her maiden name and soon married again. In the Musee Carnavalet, it may be added, are several Revolutionary portraits by Boilly of the very highest interest. The Wallace Collec- tion also possesses some examples of this painter's work, whilst two fine pictures by Boilly also in England are the reception of the emigres by the Duchesse de Berri, in the possession of Lord Carnarvon, and " L'amour couronne," the property of Madame Reyntiens.

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