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Louis-Léopold Boilly

(1761 La Brassée – 1845 Paris)

Réunion d’artistes. Stipple engraving by Alex Clément. 55 x 43.5 cm. 1804. Harisse 595.

The composition has its origins in the painted group portrait Réunion d’artistes dans l’atelier d’Isabey (Paris, Musée du Louvre) which Boilly exhibited with great success at the Paris Salon of 1798. The portrait features twenty-nine artists gathered in the studio of the distinguished miniaturist, Jean-Baptiste Isabey (1767 Nancy – 1855 Paris). The majority of the artists portrayed are painters. The history painters Gérard und Girodet, who were celebrated figures at the time, take up a prominent position in the foreground. Other painters working in genres lower down the painting hierarchy, such as the landscape painters Bidault and Boilly himself, are right at the back. The painters are joined by sculptors (Chaudet), architects (Percier and Fontaine), musicians (Mehul) and actors (Talma). The protagonists are presented in a spirited manner with their individual traits. This portrait is of a self-confident group of up-and-coming young artists of the generation after David and Houdon. A very fine, even impression with margins. Minor ageing, otherwise in excellent condition.

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