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Joseph-François Foulquier

(1744/45 Toulouse – 1789 Martinique)

Mamolin, Roy de Garbe. Etching. 11.2 x 8.8 cm. 1776. Not in Le Blanc.

Joseph-François Foulquier was an amateur painter, etcher and art collector who was trained in Paris by Philipp Jakob Loutherbourg and the Swedish miniaturist Hall. Foulquier produced a modest printed oeuvre including several etchings after preliminary drawings by Loutherbourg. This little etching of a bearded man in oriental dress is in the tradition of the character heads which had been popular since the 17th century. The inscription, which gives the portrait a literary dimension, identifies the person portrayed as “Mamolin Roy de Garbe”, a figure from Les Contes by Jean de la Fontaine. The addition of “Dessiné d’après Nature” is a deliberate mystification on the part of the artist. See Perrin Stein, Artists and Amateurs in 18th-century France, The Metropolitan Museum of  Art, New York 2013-14, p. 55, fig. 24. A superb, contrasting impression with wide margins. Minor ageing, otherwise in excellent condition. From the collection of Ernest-Théophile Devaulx, 1853 (Lugt 670, faded collector’s signature).

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