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Charles François Hutin

(1715 Paris - 1776 Dresden)

The Flight into Egypt. Etching. 23 x 16.7 cm. Baudicour 6 II (of III). Watermark: Large crowned coat of arms (fragment).

When Charles François Hutin published his own corpus of prints entitled Recueil de différents sujets composés et gravés par Charles Hutin à Dresde in 1763, the works were arranged in five series, each of which was marked with a letter from ‘a’ to ‘e’ and given a number. The outcome thus comprised five thematically subdivided series with depictions inter alia of graves, fountains, and biblical and profane subjects. The present composition showing The Flight into Egypt was the sixth print in the series marked with the letter ‘d’. The scene is remarkable for its emotional intensity. Guided by the flickering light of a torch carried by an angel, the exhausted Mary rides on a donkey with the baby Jesus asleep in her arms. Joseph walks at her side staff in hand, his body bent with the strain. The delicate linework and dense hatching patterns which are the hallmarks of Hutin's etching style are displayed to full effect in this example of his art. Its refined, elegant classicism is typical of the age of Louis XV. A very fine, differentiated early impression with wide margins, before the addition of the letter and the number. Minimal traces of handling, otherwise in excellent condition.

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