French Colour Prints
- Mastery & Elegance -

The search for colour can be seen as a recurrent theme in the history of printmaking. A wide variety of methods were developed and used over time, from colouring by hand to new printmaking techniques, such as Chiaroscuro woodcut.

The eighteenth century and it's advances in commerce and technology bore witness to technical innovations in all fields. Printmaking was no exception. Colour mezzotints were introduced in France by Jakob Christoffel Le Blond in 1721. Innovations in colour printmaking were subsequently developed by several artists such as Gilles Demarteau, Jean-Francois Janinet and Fabien Gautier-Dagoty.

By producing such images, artists offered contemporary emerging Bourgeoisie a wide variety of coloured images, substitutes for paintings and drawings. These images were highly praised and consequently colour prints soon came to be considered as fashionable luxury goods in their own right, a sign of good taste.

A selection of fine French colour prints, which, through their techniques, their subject matters and the sheer elegance of the plates, offer a particularly compelling illustration of the refined taste of eighteenth century France.

Janinet, Jean-François
La Noce de Village and Repas des Moissonneurs
Aquatint and wash-manner in colour after Pierre-Alexandre Wille (1748-1821).

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Janinet, Jean-François
Sachettorum Villae rudera imitabatur
Etching and wash-manner in colour after Hubert Robert (1733-1808).

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Bonnet, Louis-Marin
Offrande présenté par l'Amour and L'Amour offrant des présents
Aquatint and wash-manner in colour after Jean-Baptiste Huet (1745-1811).

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Janinet, Jean-François
La Crainte Enfantine and La Confiance Enfantine
Aquatint and wash-manner in colour after Sigmund Freudeberg (1745-1801).

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Janinet, Jean-François
La Baraque Rustique
Etching, aquatint and wash-manner in colour after Adriaen von Ostade (1610-1685).

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Demarteau, Gilles
La Jeune Bergère
Etching, aquatint and wash-manner in colour after Jean-Baptiste Huet (1745-1811).

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Demarteau, Gilles
Le Peintre and Le Poète
Crayon-manner in black and red after Jean-François Clermont (1717-1807).

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Bonnet, Louis-Marin
La Giroflée rouge double and Les Barbeaux
Wash-manner in colour after Mademoiselle Jouanon and after Carle.

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