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Antoine Rivalz

(1667–1735, Toulouse)

The Muse of Imagination Accompanied by the Geniuses of the Arts in front of the Temple of Minerva. Etching. 16.2 x 11.2 cm. Circa 1695. Robert-Dumesnil 2.

Son of an architect and painter, Antoine Rivalz received his initial artistic training from his father, Jean-Pierre Rivalz, from the sculptor Marc Arcis and the draughtsman Raymond Lafage. After having studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1685 to 1687, Rivalz left for Rome, where he was to stay for more than ten years. During this period the artist produced inter alia a suite of four illustrations to Bernard Dupuy du Grez’ Traité sur la peinture (Toulouse 1699), which shows the muse of Imagination in different allegorical settings. In the present picture she is shown with her back to the viewer climbing the steps of an ancient temple where the goddess Minerva awaits her. The female figures are surrounded by the geniuses of sculpture, architecture and painting. This rare print is one of just five etchings recorded by Robert-Dumesnil in his catalogue of Rivalz’ graphic works. A very fine impression with margins. Minor ageing, otherwise in excellent condition.

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