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Pierre Paul Prud'hon

(1758 Cluny – 1823 Paris)

Une Lecture (Reading). Lithograph on ivory-coloured wove paper. 14.7 x 18.4 cm. (1822). Béraldi 2.

This lithograph made by Prud’hon around 1822 illustrates the great charm and elegance of the artist’s style. A young woman is sat in a magnificent chair with a book open on her lap. Her head, which is turned to the right, is inclined playfully towards a white dove. The lithographic chalk creates soft transitions and a surface lustre very similar to that of a drawing. The present impression is a very rare trial proof before letters, printed on the verso of a lithograph by Nicolas Henri Jacob (1782–1871, Paris) with the portrait of an actor entitled “Cartigny dans le role de Bernadille ...” (I.F.F. 25), which arose at about the same time and was issued by C. Motte, a Paris publisher. Prud’hon’s lithograph was published several years after his death in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts and given a printed inscription. A superb, contrasting impression with broad margins. Minor ageing, traces of the previous mounting in the upper margin on the verso, otherwise in very good condition.

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