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Jean Daullé

(1703 Abbeville – 1763 Paris)

Portrait of Jean Vincent Capronnier de Gauffecourt. Etching and engraving after Donatien Nonotte. 38 x 36 cm. 1754. Le Blanc 30, Portalis-Béraldi 60, Inventaire du Fonds Français 109, Delignières 23 I (of II).

Jean Daullé’s superbly executed portrait of the publisher and bookbinder, Jean Vincent Capronnier de Gauffecourt (1692– 1766) stems from a painting by Donatien Nonotte and, like the original design two years previously, was exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1755. Gauffecourt, who is best known for his Traité de la relieur des livres, the first separately printed treatise on bookbinding in French, was a close friend of the humanist, Jean- Jacques Rousseau, who described him in his Confessions as an exceedingly pleasant and intelligent contemporary of irresistible charm and warm-heartedness. Daullé’s portrait is remarkable for its liveliness and sensitivity. Portrayed on the spur of the moment, Gauffecourt is shown gesticulating urgently to the person opposite him. No less impressive are the refined and extremely sophisticated engraving technique and the highly proficient treatment of the material.

Daullé, a native of the northern French town of Abbeville, went to Paris as a young man and achieved an initial succès d’estime in 1735 with a portrait engraving after Mignard. His skill as an engraver brought him to the notice of no less than the court painter, Hyacinthe Rigaud, who subsequently commissioned him to make reproductive engravings after his own works. Daullé bequeathed an extensive printed oeuvre including ninetyfour portrait engravings. In the latter part of his career he was often assisted by Johann Georg Wille (1715–1808), an artist of German descent, whose rise was largely attributable to Daullé’s support. A very fine, contrasting impression, trimmed to the platemark and with lower text margin. With the verses but without the title. Minor ageing, otherwise in excellent condition.

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