SCHENAU, After Johann Eleazar (1737-1806). Engraved by Justus Chevillet
'Une petite fille reçevant ses étrennes' [A little girl receives her gifts]
[Frankfurt: circa 1770]. Engraving, by Juste Chevillet, after Schenau (1 1/2 inch tear to left margin). Image size (including text): 17 1/2 x 13 7/8 inches. Sheet size: 25 5/8 x 18 7/8 inches.
A fine first state impression of this charming image, printed 'avant la lettre': before the addition of any lettering to the title panel.
A reflective, fashionable lady in a tumultuous silk gown, leans forward slightly to hand some coins to her daughter. The small child stands looking up at her mother, one hand clasping an overflowing apron full of presents: a tankard, a corset; she holds her other hand up to her lips as if to say "a single kiss from you would mean more to me than all these gifts". Schenau was the pseudonym of Johann Eleazar Zeissig (1737-1806), who was at the time this engraving was made, the most popular genre painter in France. He was born in Saxony, but went to France in 1756 and stayed until 1770. He was successful in many realms of visual arts: painting, engraving, sculpture. He was most directly influenced by Greuze and liked to infuse his genre paintings with elements of emotion missing from most boudoir scenes. Justus Chevillet (1729-1790) was also born in Germany, but enjoyed a successful career in Paris as an engraver.
Le Blanc II, p.11, no.81.