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Carle Vernet

(real name Antoine Charles Horace Vernet, 1758 Bordeaux – 1836 Paris)

Imprimerie lithographique de F. Delpech. Lithograph. 17 x 24.5 cm (image); 23 x 31 cm (sheet size). Béraldi 507, Dayot 152.

Carle Vernet, son of the famous painter, Claude Joseph Vernet, is best known today for his representations of Napoleonic battles as well as his horse images and hunting scenes. He also produced portraits and genre caricatures of cultural and artistic value. In addition to his activities as a painter Vernet was a productive printmaker and one of the first to master the new technique of lithography. One of Vernet’s most important business partners in the publication of his printed works was the Parisian publisher, author and lithographer, François-Séraphin Delpech (1778–1825). Having worked for a time as an art critic for Mercure de France, Delpech opened a little shop on the Quai Voltaire in Paris from which he distributed his own lithographs and works by other artists. It is a view of this Boutique de Delpech which Carle Vernet has depicted in the present work with loving care and a keen eye for detail. A little group of art enthusiasts has gathered outside the windows of the shop to inspect the numerous lithographs on display. Emerging from the door with a sign advertising Delpech’s Album lithographique ou recueil de dessins sur pierre, par des artistes français – which was a great success with the public around 1818/19 – is a young employee transporting a heavy lithographic printing stone on his head who is the only one of those present to direct his gaze at the viewer. Vernet’s print dates to 1820 and, needless to say, was published by Delpech. Time and again the two artists evidently drew mutual benefit from their cooperation. Vernet had his works published by Delpech, while Delpech regularly produced lithographs after works by Vernet. This wonderful testimony to the world of art and fashion in early 19th century Paris was acknowledged by Béraldi as a “pièce d’une fine exécution et très characteristique” and is available here in an early impression before the title in the lower margin. A very fine, harmonious impression with margins. Slight ageing and handling marks, otherwise in excellent condition.

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