Réunion d'artistes / Dédiée aux amateurs des arts. Tirée du cabinet de Monsieur Bouillier. Alexandre after BOILLY CLEMENT, Louis Léopold.
Réunion d'artistes / Dédiée aux amateurs des arts. Tirée du cabinet de Monsieur Bouillier.
29 Most Prominent Artists in Late-Eighteenth Century France
With an Explanatory Key
[Paris, P. Bassand, 1804].

Réunion d'artistes / Dédiée aux amateurs des arts. Tirée du cabinet de Monsieur Bouillier.

Lower left, below the image: à Paris chez l'Auteur, Cloitre des Bernardins d.ion des Plantes No.136. Bottom center: Imprimé par Bassand. Lower right, below the image: Et à l'Entrepôt de Thé, Rue des fossés Montmartre, no. 6. A stipple engraving (image: 39.5 x 35.5 cm; plate: 54.6 x 43.4 cm; sheet: 64.5 x 48.4 cm). Signature of the printer, P. Bassand, trimmed. A small repair at top of the print. Generally, very good.
[and:]
CLEMENT, Alexandre after BOILLY, Louis Léopold. Réunion d'artistes. [Paris, 1804]. Lower center, below image: Messieurs [followed by a numbered list of the names of the 29 artists depicted in the print]; bottom center: Deposée à la Bibliothèque en l’An 13. Etching in outline technique (39.5 x 34.1 cm). Trimmed inside the platemark, with loss at top edge, torn and wrinkled with some loss of image and text; several repairs to the print.

A stipple engraving and a related print in outline technique by Alexandre Clément (c. 1775 - c. 1808), after Réunion d'artistes dans l'atelier d'Isabey ("A Reunion of Artists in Isabey’s Studio"), a painting by Louis Léopold Boilly (1761-1845), which enjoyed great popularity at the time. Shown for the first time at the Salon of 1798, the painting brought Boilly considerable success and was subsequently acquired by the Louvre.

The print portrays only the heads of the men featured in Boilly's painting, assembling them in a peculiar constellation, surrounded by clouds--a snapshot of the French artistic scene in the late eighteenth century. The portraits belong to 29 men, prominent in the arts at the turn of the century, most of whom were part of the circle of Joséphine Bonaparte. Among others, they include the composer Etienne Nicolas Mehul (1763-1817); the Romantic painter Pierre-Paul Prud'hon (1758-1823), Josephine's favorite painter; the court painter Jean-Baptiste Isabey (1767-1855); French architects and interior designers Charles Percier (1764-1838) and Pierre François Léonard Fontaine (1762-1853), who were crucial in developing Napoleon's iconic Empire style with their numerous building and decorative projects; and the actor Nicola-Pierre Baptiste Anselme (1761-1835).

The simultaneously printed etching in outline technique accompanying the engraving was intended to help art collectors identify the 29 artists depicted. The "artistes" are numbered 1-29 in the print and named in the explanatory key below the image.

Several institutions in the U.S. own the engraving, but only a few appear to have both the engraving and the accompanying etching, including the Met, the Blaffer Art Museum (Houston, TX), and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

*Weigel 3529; BM 2012,7027.1 & BM 1882,0311.1242; Clifton, A Portrait of the Artist, 1525–1825: Prints from the Collection of the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation (2005), cat. no. 29, p. 78; DeLorme, Joséphine and the Arts of the Empire (2005), pp. 10-13.

Price: $1,450.00

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