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1703 - Paris - 1770


Mezzetin tourné à gauche [Mezzetin facing left] – before 1728


Etching after Antoine Watteau. Size of sheet: 20.5 x 10.5 cm. Lettered: ‘W - B’.


IFF 3:29; Baudicour 1:56; Rosenberg, 1997 (Vo.1, p.428, fig.271b.); Jean-Richard 45. 



François Boucher after Watteau: Mezzetin tourné à gauche

  • Plate 26 from volume I from the series ‘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 Skillful 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 now at the Valenciennes, Musée des Beaux-Arts (inv.46.2.7).

    At his death, Watteau bequeathed more than 4000 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.

    After a short training with his father, also an artist, Boucher entered the studio of a French rococo painter François Lemoine (1688-1737). Boucher also was engaged with the publisher-printmaker Jean-François Cars and in 1722 he was hired, among other engravers, by Jean de Jullienne to reproduce Watteau’s paintings and drawings. In 1723 Boucher won the first prize at the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which entitled him to a scholarship of 3 years in Rome. After his return to Paris in 1731, Boucher was accredited by the Academy as a peintre d’histoire. As a printmaker Boucher etched 31 plates after Watteau between 1722 and 1727, and 12 prints after Bloemaert in 1735. In total, he produced 43 etchings. He was named professor of drawing and engraving to Madame de Pompadour in 1751, and succeeded Carle Van Loo as premier peintre du roi and director of the Academy in 1765.

  • Alexandre Ananoff, François Boucher, 1976;

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

    Philippe de Montebello et al., François Boucher, Exhibition catalogue, 1986;

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

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