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Genre Art, Castle and Thatched Cottage, Winter Scenes, French Antique Print Pair, c. 1810-20

$2,200

François Aubertin (1773-1821) (artist and engraver)
Bassand (printer)
Le Château [The Castle]
La Chaumière [The Thatched Cottage]

Vilquin, Paris: c. 1810-1820
Color-printed aquatints finished by hand on blue paper
19 x 22.25 inches, image
21 x 24.5 inches, overall
$2,200, the pair

Pair of picturesque rural French winter countryside genre scenes rendered as exceptionally fine aquatints. Le Château shows a weathered and slightly crumbling castle perched on a rocky outcropping along the banks of a large body of water. A light coating of snow covers the ground. A short bridge leads to the castle entrance from the shore. Two workers walking along the shore pull a shallow boat carrying what appears to be coal from beneath the bridge. On the bridge, a woman watches their progress and three hunters and their dogs return to the castle, where smoke rises from the chimney. In contrast, La Chaumière centers on a modest thatched roof country cottage at the edge of a snow-colored field. Beside the cottage are tall pine trees and a stone house. Fires can be glimpsed burning in the fireplaces; smoke pours from the chimneys. In the foreground, a visiting woman and girl are greeted by a woman and two boys, one of whom attends to their horse while the other plays with a dog. Another woman approaches the house through a gate, carrying a bundle of firewood on her head. On the gate is the engraver’s credit, “Aubertin sculp.” Aubertin was an innovative aquatintist, and the high quality of his work is evident in these prints.

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Description

François Aubertin was a French draftsman and engraver, born in Metz. He was a soldier before learning aquatint engraving, to which he introduced some new technical processes. He worked in Dresden, Berlin, Paris and Ghent, reproducing the works of Nicolaes Berchem, Paul Potter, Carle van Loo and others. He committed suicide in Ghent in 1821.

Bassand (also known as “Bassan”) was a French publisher and printer, active between 1805 and 1815.

Vilquin was a French publisher and printseller active in Paris between 1790 and 1815. He published a number of botanical prints after the painter Jean-Louis Prévost.

Full publication information, La Chaumière: Aubertin sculp. Imprimé par Bassand. A Paris, chez Vilquin, Md. d’Estampes, Grande Cour du Palais Royal, No. 20. Deposé à la Bibliothèque Impériale. Inscribed upper right corner: No. 2781.

Full publication information, Le Château: Aubertin invenit et sculpsit. Imprimé par Bassan. A Paris, chez Vilquin, Md. d’Estampes, Grande Cour du Palais Royal, No. 20. Deposé à la Direction Impériale. Inscribed upper right margin: No. 2782.

Condition: Generally very good overall with rich colors, nonetheless exhibiting the usual light toning, wear, handling. Extremely faint scattered damp-caused discoloration in margins.

References:

Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 1, p. 282 (Aubertin).

“Le Château.” British Museum. http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1429943&partId=1&people=24373&peoA=24373-2-61&page=1 (18 December 2014).

“Vilquin (biographical details).” British Museum. http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/term_details.aspx?bioId=22696 (18 December 2014).

Additional information

Century

19th Century