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Historical Art, Military, Napoleon Bonaparte, Paris, Antique Print Pair, c. 1810s

$1,400

Aaron Martinet (1762-1841) (after)
Le Rouge (engraver)
Vue d’Une Grande Parade par L’Empereur Dans la Cour du Palais des Tuileries
[View of a Grand Parade by the Emperor in the Courtyard of the Palace of the Tuileries]
Adieux de Fontainebleau, 20 April, 1814
[Farewell to Fontainebleau, April 20, 1814]
Jean, Paris: c. 1811-1829
Hand-colored engravings in custom gilt wood frames
Grande Parade: 17.25 x 22 inches, plate mark
Adieux de Fontainebleau: 16.5 x 21.75 inches, plate mark
18.5 x 23.25 inches each, print size overall
20 x 24.75 inches each, framed overall
$1,400, the pair

Pair of prints of scenes from the life of Napoleon Bonaparte. Vue d’Une Grande Parade par L’Empereur Dans la Cour du Palais des Tuileries shows Napoleon on horseback accompanied by other mounted officers and rows of marching soldiers in the courtyard of the Palace of the Tuileries, where he took up residence after declaring himself emperor in 1804. A French flag flies from the palace dome. Adieux de Fontainebleau portrays the dramatic scene of Napoleon’s first abdication and farewell to his Imperial Guard in the courtyard of Fontainebleau Palace before he went into exile in Elba. He stands in a patch of sunlight, surrounded by his loyal soldiers and surrendering his sword. Nine days before, he had signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau with representatives of the Austrian Empire, Russia and Prussia, ending his rule as emperor of France.

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Description

Vue d’Une Grande Parade is credited on the engraving to Aaron Martinet, who exhaustively documented the armies and campaigns of Napoleon between 1807 and 1814. Adieux de Fontainebleau is printed without credit but apparently was published contemporaneously insofar as it is in the same engraved style, format, and size as Vue d’Une Grande Parade. They are framed as a pair in custom vintage giltwood frames in the Empire taste, decorated with raised classical wreaths, scepters, and other motifs, and with beadwork decoration on the edges.

Aaron Martinet, was a French artist, printmaker and publisher, best known for his caricatures and military subjects. He was the son of François-Nicolas Martinet, a natural history illustrator and engraver for the royal studio under the Bourbons, and assisted his father with some of his botanical publications. He established his own printselling firm in 1796, which initially became famous for its caricatures, such as the series of 30 satirical prints of fashionable Parisians and English tourists produced under the title of Le Suprême Bon Ton, and for its caricatures of famous actors. In 1807 he began his Troupes Françaises series, documenting the uniforms of Napoleon’s armies. He also made numerous prints of scenes related to Napoleon’s military leadership and battles. Indeed, in 1997 a compendium of 162 full-color reproductions of his works related to Napoleon was published in the book Napoleon by Martinet 1807-1814. Martinet’s son-in-law Hermenégilde Hautecoeur joined the firm in 1822; from then on it was known as Hautecoeur-Martinet. He retired shortly thereafter, though his name appears on prints as late as 1830, including several published by Jean on the rue St. Jean de Beauvais in the 1820s.

Jean was a publisher in Paris on the rue St. Jean de Beauvais. The firm appears in the Bibliographe de France, a 19th-century registry of prints, from 1811 to 1838.

Inscriptions, Grande Parade: Dessiné par Martinet. Gravé par Le Rouge. A Paris, chez Jean, rue St. Jean de Beauvais, No. 10. Déposé à la Direction.

Condition: Each print generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and deacidified, with minor remaining toning and wear. Frames very good with the usual overall wear, particularly to finish, and minor shrinkage at joints.

References:

“Aaron Martinet.” British Museum. http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/term_details.aspx?bioId=115667 (5 December 2014).

“François-Nicolas Martinet.” Wikipedia. 12 March 2013. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois-Nicolas_Martinet (5 December 2014).

Poremba, David Lee. Library Journal. Reed Business Information, Inc., 1998. As cited on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Napoleons-1807-1814-Depicted-Prints-Martinet/dp/1854093479 (5 December 2014).

“Search results for Rue St. Jean de Beauvais.”  Image of France at ARTFL. http://artfl-project.uchicago.edu/content/image-france (19 July 2011).