JANINET, Jean-Francois after Nicolas LAVREINCE
Paris: A Paris chez Janinet, rue Haute Feuille, No. 5. Et chez Efnauts et Rapilly, rue St. Jacques, a la Ville de Coutances, No. 259, July 1788. Mixed method colour print, printed in yellow, blue, red, pink and black inks from five plates. Two registration marks in plate. In excellent condition with wide margins. Image size: 14 x 11 inches. Sheet size: 21 3/4 x 16 3/4 inches. Plate mark: 14 1/4 x 19 1/4 inches.
This is considered one of Janinet's masterpieces. From a series of boudoir scenes executed in collaboration with the painter Nicolas Lavreince, it is an exquisite example of a newly devised method of colour printing
Jean Francois Janinet (1752-1814) was one of the most accomplished French engravers of the eighteenth century. His beautiful images are among the most sought after prints on the market and they stand as a testimony to the superior quality of early French colour printing. "In 1771 Janinet began to work in Bonnet's atelier where he soon mastered the techniques of multiple-plate colour printing and chalk-manner engraving. On his own, he refined these processes by 1772 to produce the first colour prints in imitation of watercolour and wash drawings. These prints were executed entirely with specialized engraver's tools and without recourse to aquatint". During his career "Janinet made more than eight hundred prints, including 260 in drawing books, three hundred views, 175 costume and theatrical portraits, fifty-six scenes of the significant events of the Revolution, as well as numerous little round prints for buttons and box tops, few of which survive". Janinet's best work is exemplified in this beautiful print, which was published as part of a series of twelve. The series was executed in collaboration with the celebrated Swedish artist Nicolas Lavreince.
In Paris during the latter part of the eighteenth century there developed a fashion for titillating pictures of intimate boudoir scenes. This print is a wonderful example of this trend, as well as a lovely impression of the engraving. "L'Indiscretion" was published by Janinet in 1788 as the third print in his famous collaborative series with Lavreince. Typical of this genre of French printmaking "L'Indiscretion" is set in an extravagant boudoir where two young women fight for the possession of a love letter.
Regency to Empire: French Printmaking 1715-1814 , p. 265, 266, 351; Nevill, French Prints of the Eighteenth Century p. 161.