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Pierre Charles Canot

(circa 1710 Paris – 1777 London)

Livre de Diferente Vüe de Ferme d’Angleterre. Six etchings after Jean-Baptiste Pillement. Each approx. 20.2 x 31 cm. 1758-59.

The French engraver, Pierre Charles Canot, grew up in Paris with his brother Philippe Canot, a painter who studied under Chardin. In 1740 Pierre went to England, where he became quite famous primarily as a reproductive engraver of landscapes and seascapes. He was also active as a print publisher, operating from his premises at 115 Fleet Street in London. Canot worked after designs by a wide variety of artists such as Ludolf Backhuysen, Claude Lorrain, Rosa da Tivoli, Jan van de Velde, etc. Towards the end of the 1750s he was commissioned by Charles Leviez, a ballet dancer and art collector from London, to make reproductive engravings after paintings and drawings from his collection. In the mid-1750s Leviez, who was later to work as a print dealer himself, made the acquaintance of Jean-Baptiste Pillement (1728-1808, Lyon), another French artist living in England. In subsequent years Leviez became Pillement’s foremost patron, making sure that the young artist’s works were reproduced as prints by some of the most prominent engravers in London, including Pierre Canot. Thus it was that drawings by Jean-Baptiste Pillement resulted around 1758/59 in Canot’s six-part series entitled Livre de Diferente Vüe de Ferme d’Angleterre, which is on offer here in its entirety and with the original binding. The series was first published in 1761, a second edition being issued later by James Peak. The six prints in this rare series show idyllic imaginary landscapes with picturesque farmyards surrounded by streams and including thematically appropriate staffage figures, such as shepherds, anglers, peasants and maids. The genre pittoresque, which became popular above all in France as a result of the works of Boucher, Watteau and Vernet, thus also found a following in England. Very fine, contrasting impressions, probably on the full sheets. Minor soiling, slight traces of handling, otherwise in very good condition. Literature: Maria Gordon-Smith, “English Engravings of Picturesque Views after Jean Pillement (1728-1808)”, in: Artibus et Historiae, vol. 25, no. 49 (2004), pp. 65-86, here p. 72f.

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