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1692 – Paris – 1765


Artist seated on a stool in front of an easel – before 1728


Etching after Antoine Watteau. Size of sheet: 30 x 21.3 cm. Lettered: ‘Watteau In/C.Sculp./227’. Inscribed in pencil at lower edge ‘sf’.


Goncourt 1875, 604; Rosenberg, 1997 (Vol.I, p.36, fig.20a).


Provenance: with Galerie Paul Prouté.


Very fine impression with wide margins around the platemark on laid watermarked paper. A slight yellowing of paper on the right side of the sheet, otherwise in excellent condition.


Comparative Impressions: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco – 1963.30.30032; Albertina Museum – F/II/34/36.



Comte de Caylus after Watteau: Artist Seated on a Stool

  • Plate 227 from volume II from the ‘Figures De Différents Caracteres, de Paysages, & d'Etudes Dessinées D'Après Nature Par Antoine Watteau Peintre du Roy en son Académie Royale de Peinture et Sculpture Gravées àl'Eau forte par des plus habiles Peintres et Graveurs du Temps Tirées Des Plus Beaux Cabinets De Paris’ [Figures Of Different Characters, Landscapes, & Studies Drawn From Nature By Antoine Watteau Painter Of The Roy In His Royal Academy Of Painting And Sculpture Engraved With Etching By The Most Skilful Painters And Engravers Of The Time Drawn From The Most Beautiful Cabinets in Paris], known as the Recueil Jullienne.

    It is after a drawing in sanguine with a caricature-portrait of the painter Claude Gillot (French, 1673-1722) in whose studio Watteau trained between 1703 and 1708 (Goncourt, 1875, p.287), though Rosenberg indicates the artist Claude III Audran (1658-1734) to be the sitter of this portrait (Rosenberg, 1997, p.36). 

    At his death, Watteau bequeathed more than four thousand drawings to four of his friends, among whom was Jean de Jullienne (French, 1686-1766). He paid Watteau’s drawings an extraordinary compliment by publishing at his own expense two volumes of etchings that reproduced 351 of them. Jullienne was an amateur painter, engraver and musician; at the same time, he was the managing director of a factory attached to the Gobelins. Later he became de Jullienne, and the owner of the business. He became Watteau’s friend and greatest champion.

    The Comte de Caylus, an aristocrat by birth (Mme de Maintenon, 2nd wife of King Louis XIV, was his aunt), was an admirable and prolific etcher and exercised an extraordinary influence over every branch of art during the early part of the 18th century. Count Caylus’ outstanding contribution to the artistic endeavours of his period is the popularisation of rare drawings which were hidden away in inaccessible collections. Prints bearing his signature ‘C’ are rare, for Caylus had the habit of polishing his plates after a few prints had been taken. He worked chiefly from drawings by Italian and French masters, including examples from the collection of Pierre Crozat and the Cabinet du Roi (the collection of the King); he also made many etchings from drawings by his friend Antoine Watteau and Edmé Bouchardon.

  • Lady Dilke, French Engravers and Draughtsmen of the XVIII Century, 1902;

    F.L. Leipnik, A History of French Etching from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day, 1924.

    Emile Dacier & Albert Vuaflart, Jean de Jullienne et les graveurs de Watteau au XVIIIe siècle, 1929;

    R.H. Wilenski, French Painting, From the Glass Paintings in Gothic Cathedrals to the Paintings of the Modern Movement, 1949; 

    Pierre Rosenberg, Antoine Watteau 1684-1721: Catalogue Raisonné des Dessins, 1997.

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