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(1740 Orne – 1822 Paris)


La Vertu Chancelante [Wavering Virtue] - 1776

After Jean Baptiste Greuze.


Etching and engraving on laid paper. Proof impression before all letters. Signed by Greuze and Massard verso. Watermark: Double-headed eagle (?).

Size of sheet: 50 x 40 cm.


Le Blanc 91; Smith 84; Nevill p.151.


Comparative impressions: British Museum – 1871,0812.3830; Philadelphia Museum of Art – 1985-52-36749.


‘A most graceful print’ (Nevill 1908 p.151).


Most of Greuze's works were engraved before his eyes and by his care and edited by himself, in his home on rue Thibotaudé. Jean Massard is one of these assigned "translators". Greuze, being concerned about the sale of his engravings, signed each proof on the back by himself as well as his engraver had to do the same.


Jean Massard: La Vertu Chancelante [The Wavering Virtue]

  • Famous composition of Greuze's moralistic paintings, a young woman in a loose dress sits on a chair by an unmade bed in a humble attic room, with a watch in her hand, waiting for her lover. On the right, a letter, flowers and a basket rest on a table.

    The original painting of this genre scene is now in the collection of the Alte Pinakothek in Munich (HUW 3).

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