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Jean Lepautre

(1618–1682, Paris)

Landscape with Ancient Ruins and Staffage Figures. Etching. 21.4 x 15.3 cm. Inventaire du Fonds Français 412.

This pleasant depiction stems from a series of three sheets entitled Trois Caprices de ruine à l’Italienne. Jean Lepautre is known primarily as an outstanding and imaginative ornamental engraver, whose extensive printed oeuvre had a pronounced influence on architecture and craftwork in the period of Louis XIV. In his rarer free compositions Lepautre proves to be a talented and sensitive etcher. The present landscape capriccio has been executed in a light and spirited etching technique which is remarkable for the delicacy of the distribution of light and the subtle rendering of atmospheric effects. A brilliant, tonal impression with even margins. Scattered foxing, otherwise in excellent condition.

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