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François Xavier Fabre

(1766–1837, Montpellier)

The Lamentation of Christ; The Angel Appears to the Women at the Grave. Two aquatint etchings in brown. 18.7 x 23.2 cm. Baudicour 1 and 2.

François Xavier Fabre, a native of Montpellier, was a painter, etcher and art collector who was encouraged by Jean Coustou to study under Vien and David. The artist was awarded the Prix de Rome in 1787 for his painting Nebuchadnezzar Puts Zedekiah’s Children to Death in his Presence (now in the collection of the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris, inv. no. MU 2923). He remained in Italy until 1825, work­-ing mostly in Florence before returning to Montpellier. Fabre enjoyed great success during his lifetime with his portraits, historical paintings and landscapes. He was admitted to the academies in Florence and Geneva and raised to the nobility by Charles X in 1828. The largest collection of his paintings is in the Musée Fabre in Montpellier. His modest oeuvre of very rare prints comprises five aquatint etchings, including these two images of the Lamentation and the Angel at the Grave. The latter is a reproduction of a painting Fabre made in 1809, which is now in the Musée Fabre in Montpellier (inv. no. 825.1.85), whereas in stylistic and iconographical respects the Lamentation is highly reminiscent of Italian High Renaissance designs. A superb, crisp and contrasting impression in which the aquatint grain proves highly effective (Baudicour 1) as well as a fine, harmonious impression (Baudicour 2). Both sheets with wide margins around the distinct platemark. In pristine condition apart from remains of old hinges verso. Rare.

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