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Historical Art, French Revolution, Festival of Unity, Pair Antique Prints, Paris, 1797

$800

Charles Monnet (1732-after 1808) (after)
Isidore-Stanislas-Henri Helman (1743-d.1806-1809) (engraver)
La Fontaine de la Régénération, Sur les dévris de la Bastille, le 10 Août 1793
[The Fountain of Regeneration, in the Debris of the Bastille, August 10, 1793]
Fédération générale des Français au Champ de Mars le 14 Juillet 1790
[General Federation of the French at March Field, July 14, 1790]

C. Monnet, Paris: 1797
Hand colored copperplate engravings
17.5 x 23.75 inches, overal
14 x 18.25 inches, plate mark
$800, the pair

Pair of prints commemorating the French Revolution, engraved after a suite of drawings by Claude Monnet which had been exhibited at the Salon exhibition of 1793 with great success. La Fontaine de la Régénération, Sur les dévris de la Bastille, depicts the Festival of Unity held in 1793, four years after the Revolution. A crowd gathers around a statue of the Egyptian goddess Isis which has been erected at the site of the infamous Bastille prison to signify the regeneration of the French people. Monnet’s rendition probably lends the statue more grandeur than it had, given that it had actually been hastily fabricated from papier-mâché.

Description

In Fédération générale des Français au Champ de Mars, a large crowd of Frenchmen watch a procession of soldiers in celebration of the federation of the French government on the first anniversary of the Revolution.

Charles Monnet was a French painter of history, genre, landscapes and decorations, as well as producing drawings for prints and illustrated books. As a student at the Royal Academy he won first prize for his painting and was accepted as a member and debuted in its exhibitions two years later, in 1767. In the ensuing years he continued to exhibit regularly at the Salon exhibitions, and completed commissions for aristocratic patrons including two paintings of mythological scenes for the dining room of the Petit Trianon at the Palace of Versailles (1768 and 1772). He also illustrated books, including a fine edition of the fables of La Fontaine. Monnet made the drawings depicting scenes of the French Revolution that were engraved by Isidore-Stanislas-Henri Helman as well as a set of 69 drawings illustrating the history of France under the empire of Napoleon. At the end of his life he was named professor of drawing at the l’École de Saint-Cyr.

Isidore-Stanislas-Henri Helman was a French engraver and printseller. He studied drawing in his native town of Lille and completed his training in Paris. By 1777, he had established a reputation as an engraver of genre scenes. He is known for his suites of fashion engravings after Jean-Michel Moreau which were republished with a text by Restif de La Bretonne as the Monument du costume (1789). He also engraved a series of plates after Charles Monnet depicting scenes from the French Revolution, as well as religious and genre subjects after Baudouin, Bertaux, Lavreince and de la Fosse.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall toning and wear; light scattered wear to edges and margins.

References:

Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. (Helman, Vol. 4, p. 648; Monnet, Vol. 6, p. 179) (specifically mentioning these works).

“Isidore-Stanislaus-Henri Helman.” The Grove Dictionary of Art. New York: Macmillan. 2000. Artnet.com. http://www.artnet.com/library/03/0374/T037435.asp (13 August 2004).

“The Fountain of Regeneration.” Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution. George Mason University.” http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/d/14 (13 August 2004).

Additional information

Century

18th Century