RIGAUD, Jacques (1681-1754)
A View of the Palace of Medon / Vue du Chateau de Medon [Meudon]
Paris: circa 1745. Hand-coloured engraving. Printed on laid paper. In excellent condition. Framed in a beautiful gold-leaf frame with a cream washline mount. Image size: 8 1/8 x 16 inches. Framed size: 16 1/4 x 22 3/4 inches.
A magnificent view of the Chateau of Meudon on the outskirts of Paris by the celebrated landscape engraver Jacques Rigaud.
Meudon has a long history. The buildings depicted here were the result of renovations untaken by Le Grand Dauphin, son of Louis XIV, who employed a number of architects, most prominently Hardouin-Mansart. The main building burned down just after the armistice that ended the France-Prussian War in 1871.
Towards the middle of the eighteenth century a market developed among English and European travelers and vicarious travelers for prints of their countries' natural and man-made beauties. This grew out of a new sense of national identity, confidence and patriotism. Artists and printmakers began to publish topographical prints of important sights and architectural attractions, which in turn encouraged a wider public recognition of and sense of pride in national treasures. Addressing this market, Jacques Rigaud made a name for himself in both France and England as one of the most accomplished landscape engravers. He executed a large series of works depicting France's stately homes and he worked in England, where he was commissioned to illustrate the celebrated gardens at Stowe. Rigaud's work influenced an entire generation of English and French printmakers; his delicate formal engravings established a classical format for topographical prints, which would be used until the onset of the nineteenth century.
Le Blanc, Manuel de L'Amateur D'Estampes III, p. 337, no. 95-100 (Le Blanc mistakenly confuses Jacques Rigaud with his nephew Jean Baptiste Rigaud and attributes Jacques' work wrongly) Clayton, The English Print 1688-1802 p. 156-157.