CHAPONNIER, Alexandre (1753-1806) after John Keyse SHERWIN (1751?-1790)
Le Village Abandonné [The Deserted Village]
Paris: Published by chez Bance, circa 1787. Stipple engraving, printed in colours. Very good condition apart from some overall light soiling and minor foxing. Trimmed to plate mark on all sides. Sheet size: 19 3/8 x 23 3/4 inches. Plate mark: 19 x 23 1/4 inches.
A beautifully coloured print picturing the sorrowful exodus of two families from a picturesque English village. This fine image is one of a pair of plates by Sherwin (its companion is entitled "The Happy Village") contrasting the conflicting fortunes of a country village.
A pupil of the accomplished engraver Francesco Bartolozzi and the painter John Astley, John Keyse Sherwin was a popular English engraver and talented draughtsman. He also trained at the Royal Academy, where he exhibited a number of highly acclaimed chalk drawings between 1774 and 1784. In addition to producing numerous prints after renowned artists, such as Joshua Reynolds, Angelica Kauffman, Thomas Gainsborough and Nicolas Poussin, Sherwin engraved several of his own works, including The Happy Village and the The Deserted Village . Although his original plates were well received, he primarily established his reputation with the images he engraved after other artists. In 1785, he was appointed engraver to the king, and he later became engraver to the Prince of Wales.
Based vaguely on Goldsmith's poem, "The Deserted Village" of 1770, in which the poet deplores country villages that die while private estates flourish, Sherwin's group actually depicts a highly dramatic moment of quite mixed emotions, for in contrast to the understandably gloomy adults, the three children in the group gleefully begin the journey.
This color printed, stipple engraving is the French edition of the Sherwin's touching image.
Cf. Dictionary of National Biography.