Click main image below to view enlargements and captions.

Caricature Art, Theatrical Crown Disputed, French Antique Print, early 19th Century

$475

La Couronne Théatrale disputée par les Demoiselles Duchesnois & Georges Weimer
[The Theatrical Crown Disputed by the Young Ladies Duchesnois & Georges Weimer]

France: 1st Quarter 19th Century
Hand-colored engraving
7.25 x 10.25 inches
$475

A satirical print depicting a competition for the “theatrical crown” between two famous French actresses of the early 19th century, Georges (Marguerite-Josephine) Weimer (1787-1867) and Catherine Duchesnois. Mademoiselle Duchenois starred in romantic dramas and revivals of the classics until she decided to quit for religious reasons around 1830. She is on the left, accompanied by supporters bearing signs extolling “sensitivity” and the roles of Phaedre, Hermione and Roxanne. Mademoiselle Weimer was a fabled beauty who made her acting debut in 1802 and was Napoleon Bonaparte’s mistress for a short time. Her supporters wave a banner that reads “Nobility and Beauty” and a list of roles including Clytemnestra and Dido. The “crown” they are competing for is protected by a thorny bush encircled with snakes surmounted by a two-faced judge. Meanwhile, a man pokes his head through a trapdoor in the stage and looks up at Mademoiselle Weimar. The satirist seems to be poking fun at the theater fans who take the matter seriously, portraying them as an assemblage of foolish turkeys and geese.

Browse Wishlist

Description

A satirical print depicting a competition for the “theatrical crown” between two famous French actresses of the early 19th century, Georges (Marguerite-Josephine) Weimer (1787-1867) and Catherine Duchesnois. Mademoiselle Duchenois starred in romantic dramas and revivals of the classics until she decided to quit for religious reasons around 1830. She is on the left, accompanied by supporters bearing signs extolling “sensitivity” and the roles of Phaedre, Hermione and Roxanne. Mademoiselle Weimer was a fabled beauty who made her acting debut in 1802 and was Napoleon Bonaparte’s mistress for a short time. Her supporters wave a banner that reads “Nobility and Beauty” and a list of roles including Clytemnestra and Dido. The “crown” they are competing for is protected by a thorny bush encircled with snakes surmounted by a two-faced judge. Meanwhile, a man pokes his head through a trapdoor in the stage and looks up at Mademoiselle Weimar. The satirist seems to be poking fun at the theater fans who take the matter seriously, portraying them as an assemblage of foolish turkeys and geese.

Condition: Generally very good, the colors bright, the paper with the usual light overall toning, some minor scattered wear, soiling, soft creases. Two mild vertical creases, probably as issued.

References:

Mergenthal, Edward R. Jr. “19th Century Theatre.” Theatre through the Ages. December 1998. http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/Balcony/7634/origins_of_theatre_19th_century_theatre.htm (2 October 2002).

“The Napoleonic Guide.” 1999-2002. http://www.napoleonguide.com/georges.htm (2 October 2002).

Additional information

Century

19th Century