Thursday, July 5, 2012

French Demarteau Engravings "Hours of the Day" Le Matin, Le Midi, L'Apres Midi, Le soir

Any time I travel I make it a point to attend the weekly markets of the local villages. Early one morning at the Florence, Italy antique market, I spotted 4 beautiful French engravings in a booth, the frames twinkling in the sun. With a little luck, and my friend as translator, I bartered with the vendor on the price of the engravings and swept them up!
After much research on the engravings, I just added them to My Faux French Chateau store! (They should be up on the site in about  24 hours.)
These beautiful gold tone wood frames contained a collection of (4) late 18th/early 19th century color crayon manner engravings entitled  "Le Matin" (The Morning), "Le Midi" (Midday), "L’Apres Midi" (The Afternoon) and "Le Soir" (The Evening.)  These engraving are by Gilles Demarteau (engraver) and rendered after the artist J.B. Huet (painter). Purchased in Florence, Italy, these French engravings appear to have been framed in Italy and bear beautiful Italian backing paper.

The engravings have the following markings:

Bottom Left Corner:

J.B. Huet pinceit

Du Cabinet de Mr. Nera

Bottom Middle:

A Parusm chez. Demarteau, Graveur et Pensionnaire du Eoi, rue de la Pelleterie, a la Cloche.

Bottom Right Corner:

Demarteau Jeulprit

No. 546 (Le Matin), 547 (Le Midi), 548 (L’Apres Midi) and 549 (Le Soir) respectively

Each of the four engravings depicts a peaceful French pastoral scene with a shepherd or shepherdess with his/her flock of sheep during various times of the day. Each scene is set within a fictive stone frame. The pastoral scenes and the overall subject matter and feel of these engravings reminded me immediately of my favorite French toile fabrics.

 Le Matin (Morning)

Le Midi (Noon or Midday)


Le Midi detail

Le Midi is my favorite of the four engravings! It depicts a peaceful pastoral scene with a shepherdess at the center. She sits quietly, surrounded by her sheep, lost in a world of daydreams.

L'Apres Midi (Afternoon)

L'Apres Midi detail

Le Soir  (Evening)

Le Soir detail

I'm working on information about the creative process used by Demarteau to create these engravings. I'll share this information on "color crayon engraving" with you soon!

Take care.

Au revoir, Mitty

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