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Marie-Philippe Coupin de la Couperie

(1773 Sèvres – 1851 Versailles)

Andromède. Lithograph. 26.1 x 17.7 cm. Circa 1819. Béraldi, vol. 5, p. 58; Inventaire du Fonds Français, après 1800, vol. 5, p. 240, 2.

A painter, engraver and lithographer, Coupin de la Couperie was a pupil and intimate of Anne Louis Girodet-Trioson. He designed numerous patterns for the porcelain manufactory at Sèvres and was appointed professor of drawing at the military academies of La Flèche and Saint Cyr in 1815 and 1816. In the years 1812–1833 Coupin contributed historical paintings to the exhibitions of the Paris Salon.

Like many French peintres-graveurs of his time Coupin also worked for François-Séraphin Delpech, a print publisher in Paris, whose business premises were at 23 Quai Voltaire. The present rare lithograph was done for the first Album lithographique ou receuil de dessins sur pierre, par des artistes français, which Delpech published in 1819.

The remarkable technical treatment of Andromeda is clearly the work of an experienced lithographer. In compositional and stylistic terms the artistically accomplished scene betrays the influence of Ingres, especially of his 1819 painting Ruggero Frees Angelika (Paris, Musée du Louvre) from Ariosto’s epic Orlando Furioso. Andromeda’s beautiful, well-proportioned body with the head bending to one side and its cascading abundance of hair was undoubtedly inspired by Ingres. The contours of the female body have been rendered with great artistic skill; the soft transitions of the lithographic chalk generate delicate chiaroscuro contrasts, which attain a high degree of refinement especially in Andromeda’s face and the rich curly locks of her hair. The rough-edged rock she is chained to, on the other hand, is depicted with bold cross-hatching and parallel lines, whose varying thickness and density create a remarkable three-dimensional effect.

A splendid, harmonious impression with large margins. Slightly foxed, otherwise in pristine condition. From the Leon Lang Collection, Verly (not in Lugt).

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