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Pierre Parrocel

(1670 Avignon – 1739 Paris)

Amphitrite’s Triumph. Etching. 14.1 x 22.9 cm. Robert-Dumesnil 16.

As the descendant of a ramified dynasty of artists beginning with his grandfather, Georges Parrocel (died circa 1613), and his father Louis as well as his elder brother Jacques-Ignace, all of whom were esteemed in their field, Pierre was predestined for an artistic career. Like his brother, Pierre left Avignon to begin his studies in Paris under the guidance of his uncle Joseph before continuing his training firstly in Venice and then under Carlo Maratta in Rome, where he became a member of the Accademia di San Luca in 1730. He is mostly known for his altarpieces and works on religious themes, a large number of which are now to be found in the south of France. Parrocel ran a flourishing studio in Avignon and his drawings were very highly prized by prominent contemporary art collectors, such as the Duc de Choiseul and the Marquis Philippe de Chennevières (cf. E. Brugerolles, Une dynastie de peintres: les Parrocel, exhibition catalogue École National Supérieure des BeauxArts, Paris; Musée Calvet, Avignon, Paris 2007, p. 29). While Parrocel’s painted work has recently received the attention it merits in several publications, his printed oeuvre has hitherto been largely ignored. Parrocel produced some thirty prints, most of which up to the present day have only found little attention.

This charming etching of Amphitrite’s Triumph has been executed in a deft and lively manner reminiscent of Italian designs. The beautiful Nereid, accompanied by her escorts and surrounded by zephyrs and other marine figures, is riding on a large dolphin, her billowing scarf forming a canopy over her head. The vibrant, light-drenched scene is of great delicacy and charm. A very fine, harmonious impression of this rare print with thread margins around the framing line. Minor ageing and handling marks, otherwise in excellent condition.

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