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1715 – Paris - 1790


Rebecca at the well - c.1740


Etching after Nicolas Bertin (French, 1667-1736). Size of sheet: 29.8 x 39.6 cm. Watermark: Published by Charles-Nicolas Cochin Le Père. Lettered: “N.Bertin pinx/C.Cochin del. et sculp./Le Serviteur envoyé par Abraham demander Rebecca en marriage, la rencontre auprez du Puis, et luy donne des Pendans d’Oreilles d’Or qui pesoient deux Sicles, e deux Bracelets qui en pesoient dix. Genes ch.24./Se vend a Paris chez C. Cochin rue S.Jacques au Mecenas.”


Le Blanc 9.


Beautiful impression with margins all around the platemark on laid watermarked paper. Restored top left corner, otherwise in exchellent condition. 


Comparative Impressions: Albertina Museum – F/II/25/103, Rijksmuseum – RP-P-1905-5373.



Charles-Nicolas Cochin: Rebecca at the Well

  • The print represents here an episode from the Old Testament in which Eliezer met Rebecca by the well of Nahor. Eliezer, the servant of Abraham, had gone at the latter's request to Chaldea, Mesopotamia, in order to find a wife for his son Isaac. On the way, when he had stopped near a well with his ten camels, he saw Rebecca drawing water for her father's flocks. The young woman drew water for both Eliezer and his camels. The latter seeing it as a sign from God, offered Rebecca Abraham's presents, a gold ring and two bracelets: "When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a ring of gold of half a shekel in weight, and two bracelets of ten shekels weight in gold". (Genesis, 24: 22-23)

    The Bertin's painting,  after which this print was made, was last sold on the market in 2008 (Sotheby’s Paris, Sale on 25 June 2008, lot 52).

    Cochin came from a family of engravers. His first engraving was made at the age of twelve. Talented and witty, Cochin rose quickly to success and fame. He executed an innumerable variety of book-illustrations, fashion plates, trade cards, ornaments, bookstamps and portraits of all the celebrities of the century. As early as 1737, he was employed by the young King Louis XV to make engravings to commemorate every birth, marriage, and funeral at the king’s court and from 1739 he was formally appointed as designer and engraver to the Menus-Plaisirs du Roi, responsible for the "lesser pleasures of the King", which meant in practice that it was in charge of all the preparations for ceremonies, events and festivities, down to the last detail of design and order.

    In 1749 Madame de Pompadour selected Cochin to accompany her brother on a study tour of Italy. His closeness with Madame de Pompadour (whom he advised as to all her purchases and commissions) and the Court made him probably the most influential artist of his time, right till the death of Louis XV in 1774, after which Cochin fell out of favour and fashion.

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

    Ralph Nevill, French Prints, 1908;

    John Ittmann et al., Regency to Empire: French Printmaking 1715-1814, 1985.

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