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Design Art, 17th-18th Centuries, Vases, George Charmeton, Nicholas Robert, French Antique Prints, c. 1676

$400

Georges Charmeton (1623-1674) (after)
Nicolas Robert (1614-1685) (engraver)
Plusieurs Vaze désinez par G. Charmeton Peintre
[Several Vases Designed by G. Charmeton, Painter]
G. Audran, Rue St. Jacques aux deux Piliers d’or, Paris: 1676
Black and white etchings
16 x 10.75 inches, overall
12.75 x 7.75 inches, plate mark
$400 each

Rare set of six engravings showing vases designed by painter and ornamentalist Georges Charmeton. Numbered one to six, the designs incorporate classical motifs such as dolphins, cherubs, griffins, Roman masks, lion masks, swags and festoons, acanthus, etc. Each vase is in a Baroque style that has been described as Louis XIV with some aspects of Louis XIII. Robert’s renditions place them in light and shadow, bringing out the three-dimensional forms of the reliefs. Like other vase prints, such as those by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, these likely served as source material for ornamentalists by a major designer of the period. Interestingly, the refined etchings and classical designs give them a neoclassical flair found in the works of Piranesi and other artists of the later 18th Century.

Product Description Continues Below.

Description

Georges Charmeton was from a family of artists in Lyon, France, which included his father and five brothers. He studied art in Paris and was received into the Academy in 1663. The same year, he received a commission to design the architectural ornamentation of the Hôtel de Breton Villiers. While he also made paintings, his reputation principally rests upon his designs for panels, cornices, vases, trophies, corners and ceilings in the style of Louis XIV, which were engraved by Nicolas Robert, A. du Cerceau, Fay and others.

Nicolas Robert was a French watercolorist, draftsman and printmaker, widely regarded as the most accomplished botanical artist of the 17th century. The son of an innkeeper, he made his way to Italy, where he produced his first great work, a unique album of floral paintings called the Guirlande de Julie in 1641, which established his reputation as an artist. In 1650, Gaston d’Orléans, brother of Louis XIII commissioned a set of paintings on vellum of the birds and flowers of his menagerie and botanical garden at the Château of Blois. Over the next decade he filled five large folio volumes. Robert was appointed painter to the King by Gaston’s nephew, King Louis XIV, in 1664, documenting the royal gardens. The 700 original natural history paintings he produced for Gaston d’Orléans and the royal collection became the nucleus of the famous Vélins du Muséum collection of natural history studies now in the library of the Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. His other crowning achievement were the 39 plates he produced for Dionys Dodart’s Mémoires pour servir à L’Histoire des Plantes, a large folio published by the Royal Press, a landmark in the history of botanical illustration.

Condition: Very good with the usual minor toning and wear, very pale faint scattered foxing. Few short tears, pinholes in margins where formerly strung together, restored.

References:

Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France : Librairie Gründ, 1966. p. 447.

Berlin catalogue number 1052

“Nicolas Robert.” The Grove Dictionary of Art . New York: Macmillan. 2000. Online at Artnet.com. http://www.artnet.com/library/07/0723/T072368.asp (19 June 2003).

Additional information

Century

17th Century