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Nicolas Simon Duflos

(circa 1704 Paris – 1761 Lyon)

Au Plaisant Chasseur (A Man with a Plumed Hat Takes Aim with a Crossbow). Etching. 30 x 18.7 cm.

This evocative depiction was in all likelihood inspired by the famous prototype drawing Archer and Dairy Maid by Jacques de Gheyn the Younger (1565 Antwerp – 1629 The Hague) which became popular around 1610 in a modified engraving made by Andries Stock (The New Hollstein, Jacques de Gheyn the Younger, 156). In the ensuing years and on into the 18th century it was followed by numerous adaptations. The work might possibly also have been based on an engraving by Pieter Serwouters after an invention by David Vinckboon (Hollstein 18). Both depictions have a subliminal erotic connotation (see E. de Jongh, G. Luijten, Spiegel van Alledag. Nederlandse genreprenten 1550– 1700, Amsterdam 1997, no. 21, pp. 129–132). Several copies, including painted repetitions, testify to the popularity of the composition. In the late 17th century, for instance, the French engraver, Pierre Landry (c. 1630–1701) based his etching Au Plaisant Chasseur on de Gheyn’s design. Here, too, there is an underlying hint of eroticism: the archer is looking for a girl but does not know who to aim at. 

The present version, issued in the 18th century by the publishing house of the engraver, Simon Duflos, has its origins in the engraving by Landry. Although the title is identical, the tenor of the verse is very different this time. The archer has his sights
on cuckolded husbands, but there are so many of them that he keeps putting his crossbow to his shoulder without being able to fire. A very fine, even impression with the full image. Old mounting. Minor ageing, otherwise in very good condition.

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