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Léopold Flameng

(1831 Brussels - 1911 Courgent)

The Sleep of Venus (Le Sommeil de Psyché) and The Torch of Venus (Le Flambeau de Vénus). Two etchings after Pierre Paul Prud’hon. 16.9 x 23 cm and 16.8 x 21.6 cm. Not in Beraldi; Goncourt 195, 196. 

In these two etchings Léopold Flameng reproduces works made by Pierre Paul Prud’hon as designs for paintings by his pupil and lover, Constance Mayer (Marie Françoise Constance Mayer La Martinière), which was reportedly also the case in other works of art by Prud’hon and Mayer. The Sleep of Venus (also incorrectly known as Le Sommeil de Psyché) and The Torch of Venus (Le Flambeau de Vénus) arose as allegorical companion pieces which played with the imagery of the goddess of love and the iconographical theme of the interpretation of dreams after Füssli. Prud’hon’s original designs - two oil sketches on wood - are now in the Musée Condé Chantilly (inv. nos. PE 421 and PE 422). The Empress Josephine bought the two paintings made by Constance Mayer in 1806 and 1808 for her gallery in Malmaison (they are now in the Wallace Collection in London and the Napoleonmuseum Schloss Arenenberg in Switzerland). Very fine, deep black impressions with wide margins on three sides, with a narrow margin around the platemark at the top. Minor ageing, otherwise in pristine condition. From the collection of Alfred Beurdeley in Paris (Lugt 421).

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