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Joseph Fratrel

(1730 Épinal – 1783 Mannheim)

Sapientia (Wisdom). Two etchings. 33.8 x 20.7 cm and 38.9 x 25 cm respectively. 1779. Baudicour II, 193 ff, 5 and 6 I (of II).

The figure of Sapientia emerges from a dark columned hall. She holds the book of wisdom to her bosom and carries the lamp of inspiration in her right hand. Baudicour characterises the etching as a “pièce d’un grand style et d’un très belle effet”. Together with a variant in which the image is much lighter and more transparent. Here Sapientia no longer holds the lamp in her right hand but carries it on three fine metal threads. A superb, even impression, before the reduction in size of the plate. Baudicour describes this state as “très-rare”.

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