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La Fontaine des Graces. Etching after Edme Bouchardon. 40.5 x 28.6 cm. Ca. 1737. Inventaire du Fonds Français 536.
Gabriel Huquier is known first and foremost as an ornamental engraver who produced an extensive oeuvre of reproductive engravings after the leading masters of his time such as Boucher, Watteau, Bouchardon, Gillot, Peyrotte, Meissonnier and Oppenord. He thus preserved countless brilliant decorative designs from the period of Louis XV for posterity. Huquier was also an assiduous collector of drawings and prints by the most celebrated French artists of his era. On certain days of the week his private collection was open for art students and enthusiasts to study. The auction catalogue of Huquier’s collection drawn up by Joullain fils in 1772 offers a vivid impression of the artistic taste of Paris art collectors during the ancien régime.
The present rare etching after a fountain design by Bouchardon was announced in the Mercure in April 1737. The work has been executed in a very refined, minutely detailed etching technique which imitates the style of a pen-and-ink drawing. The
dense hatching patterns produce a delicate, vibrating chiaroscuro. A very fine, crisp and contrasting impression with thread margins. In mint condition.