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Lot 232: LOUIS-MARIN BONNET Tête de Flore * Tête de femme.
November 3, 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Tête de Flore * Tête de femme.
Two color pastel- and chalk-manner etchings with engraving, from eight plates and three plates respectively, 1769 and circa 1771 respectively. Tête de Flore: 400x325 mm; 15 3/4x13 inches, trimmed on or just outside the plate mark, inside the plate mark lower margin with the removal of the etched inscription; Tête de femme: 392x348 mm; 15 5/8x13 5/8 inches, narrow margins. Both very good impressions of these extremely scarce, French 18th-century color prints.
Both of these color prints were based on pastel portraits by François Boucher (1703-1770). Tête de Flore respresents Boucher's seventeen-year-old daughter, Marie-Emilie; Tête de femme is thought to portray Boucher's eldest daughter, Jean-Elisabeth Victoire.
According to Ittmann, "The Tête de femme was first issued as a pastel-manner print to form a pair with the Tête de Flore . . . The difficulties that Bonnet encountered in printing the Tête de Flore with eight plates no doubt prompted him to attempt his new print [Tête de femme] with the more manageable number of five," (Regency to Empire, French Printmaking 1715-1814, Minneapolis, 1984, page 198). Though in fact very few impressions of Tête de femme are known using all five plates and most extant impressions, like the current work, were printed by Bonnet from three color plates in addition to the black etched plate. Hérold 192 and 59.