Lines and Colors art blog

Artists and Amateurs: Etching in Eighteenth-Century France

Artists and Amateurs: Etching in Eighteenth-Century France: Joseph Marie Vien, Louis Jean Desprez, Jean Honore Fragonard, Jean Etienne Liotard
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in new York has a wonderful practice of periodically assembling small, non-blockbuster exhibitions of works on paper from their enormously deep collections.

These often go unnoticed in the press, but can surprise and delight visitors to the museum who come across them on their way to something else in the museum. Personally, I tend to seek them out, as I particularly love master drawings and the related practices of etching, drypoint and aquatint.

There is a gallery on the Met’s website that features a number of pieces from the show, and — in another wonderful practice — the Met provides easily accessible high-resolution images of works like these from their permanent collection.

(Click on “Fullscreen” under the images and then choose to zoom or use the download arrow at lower right of the zoomable image.)

I’ve provided a detail crop of each of the images above, but the high-res versions are available in even greater detail.

Artists and Amateurs: Etching in Eighteenth-Century France” runs until January 5, 2014.

There is also a catalog accompanying the exhibition.

(Images above, each with detail crop: Joseph Marie Vien, Louis Jean Desprez, Jean Honoré Fragonard, Jean Étienne Liotard)


5 responses to “Artists and Amateurs: Etching in Eighteenth-Century France”

  1. Agreed, Charley: One of the great hidden gems in the NYC art world is this little exhibition space devoted to drawings and graphics. In this show, of particular note are two artists nearly forgotten today but worth some greater study: Norblin, who looks quite modern in the example in this show, especially when you consider he died in 1830, and de Boissieue, whose skill at rendering backlit objects and figures was formidable.

    1. Thanks, Daniel.

  2. Andrew C Avatar
    Andrew C

    In that Fragonard of the young swain leaving the closet, what exactly is holding up his hat?

    1. We won’t go there (grin).

  3. A similar ‘L’armoire’ dramatique scene painting in sootbrown wash/ink dated 1778.
    Analyse de l’image: Colère du père et de la mère qui ouvrent l’armoire où s’était caché le Galant./Enraged parents opening the wardrobe where the suiter was hiding.