DE LAUNAY, Nicolas after Nicolas LAVREINCE
La Consolation de L'Absence
1785. Engraving. Proof before dedication, with artist names and title but before dedication and publication line added and title space darkened. Two collectors marks on verso of sheet. In excellent condition with the exception of some limited foxing. Crease on right edge of sheet. Image size: 13 13/16 x 9 3/4 inches. Sheet size: 18 1/8 x 13 13/16 inches. Plate mark: 14 5/8 x 10 5/8 inches.
A rare proof impression of this stunning boudoir scene after a miniature by Nicolas Lavreince.
Genre painting came to France when the Academy admitted Watteau's "The Pilgrimage to Cythera" in 1717. From that point on a fashion for decorative genre subjects swept the country, influencing an entire generation of French artists. This craze did not subside until after the onset of the Revolution when the frivolous tastes of the aristocratic elite were dispelled and a more sober era descended upon French art. This extremely well executed print by Nicolas de Launay is after a painting by the celebrated Swedish miniaturist Nicolas Lavreince, who built his reputation with paintings of intimate boudoir scenes. In this scene, an elegantly dressed woman seated on a settee in a lavish boudoir gazes longingly at a miniature of her lover, and holds a love letter in the other hand. On the wall above, in an oval portrait, Cupid aims his arrow, though she is already clearly his victim. A little toy dog plays in the foreground, unaware of the sighs and sorrow. From the collection of Frederic R. Halsey, a famous New York print collector, who was active during the latter part of the 19th century. (Lugt 1308). Also from the collection of Cortland Field Bishop (1870-1935) a New York collector, who had a renowned collection of French eighteenth-century prints. (Lugt 2770 b)
Nevill, French Prints of the Eighteenth Century p. 169; Lugt, Les Marques de Collections 1308; Lugt, Les Marques de Collections, (Supplement) 2770 b.