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WATTEAU, Antoine (1684--1721)
Suitte des etudes d'apres nature par Antoine Watteau peintre du Roy
A Paris chéz Huquier, [1770].
8 engr. pl. text (on 4 leaves), engr. port., engr. frontis, [198] pl. (on 129 leaves) ; 42.2 cm. (2°)

A collection of suites made up of late C18th impressions of plates originally engraved for and published by Jean de Jullienne in 1726--28, in two volumes entitled Figures de différents caractères, de paysages, et d'etudes dessinées d'après nature par Antoine Watteau. In this form it had contained 350 plates, the first part of the so-called 'Recueil Jullienne' (1734--35). In 1739, however, Jullienne ceded his plates to the widow of François Chereau, who in turn, by 1755, disposed of them to the engraver and printseller Gabriel Huquier (1695--1772), a specialist in collections of ornament and pattern books for artists. Following his usual marketing practice of offering suites of plates either singly or combined in recueils made up to the customer's requirements, Huquier divided up and completely rearranged Jullienne's Figures de différents caractères into 'cahiers de douze feuilles qui se vendent séparément 1 liv. 10 sols.' (See E. Dacier and A. Vauflart, Jean de Jullienne et les graveurs de Watteau, Paris 1922, II, p.134.) To judge from the present copy, this re-casting led not to a definitive new version, but to further more or less ad-hoc combinations whereby both the order of the suites (indicated by a roman numeral in the top left corner of each copper) and their extent (indicated by arabic numbers top right) could be varied. Jullienne's original numbering appears faintly on most plates within the image area. The suites are numbered I--XXX, wanting suites VIII, X, XIX, XXI--XXIV, and are not arranged in numerical order. Most of the plates are engraved by François Boucher (1703--1770). One is signed by Cochin, i.e. Charles Nicholas Cochin the elder (1688--1754), others are initialed 'J.A.', i.e. Jean Audran (1667--1756) or 'C.', i.e. the Comte de Caylus (1692--1765). The frontispiece was designed and engraved by Boucher.

Copy Notes Bought from Thomas Boone for £1 10s. on 23 June 1808. (Spiers Box).

Binding C18th reversed calf, blind-tooled panels, red morocco spine-label lettered 'Ouvrage / De / Watteau'. Rebacked in 1903 by a bookbinder from Messrs. Fisher.

Reference Number 3558

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