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Achille Devéria

(1800–1857, Paris)

Self-portrait in Three-quarter Figure. Lithograph on chine appliqué. 48.6 x 32.2 cm. Circa 1828. Béraldi 1.

This astonishing self-portrait shows the artist, Achille Déveria, at around the age of thirty. Deveria is dressed in casual working attire and holds a drawing pencil in his right hand. His piercing gaze has something hypnotic about it and gives the portrait a powerful, almost frightening presence. It seems almost as if the beholder has rudely interrupted the artist’s work.

Déveria worked primarily as a printmaker, compiling an extensive corpus of lithographs after 1822. His agreeable, genre-like subjects were fully in keeping with Restoration tastes. The fashionable subject of ‘women’ played a key role in his creative activities. Déveria “was fond of portraying women … in all manner of attractive poses that radiated frivolous grace and coquettish charm – a pursuit he engaged in with great skill and unflagging vitality” (Meyer). Among his foremost artistic achievements, on the other hand, are the portrait lithographs he produced between 1825 and 1835, including this striking self-portrait and portraits of famous contemporaries, such as Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas and Franz Liszt.

A superb, distinctive and contrasting impression with margins. Slight traces of handling, otherwise in very good condition.

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