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French School (Paris?), 18th Century

A design for a fountain with two goats

faintly inscribed ‘MAII’ (?) (lower right)
pen and black ink, watercolour, the vase cut out and drawn on a separate sheet of paper 20.6 x 26.2 cm
This finely drawn fountain design was used for an engraving in Antoine-Joseph Dézallier d’Argenville’s ‘La Théorie et la Pratique du Jardinage [...]’ (the most influential work on garden design of the eighteenth century) which was published in Paris in 1747 by Pierre Jean Mariette (the first edition was published in 1709 by Jean Mariette). The engraving, titled ‘Buffet d’eau pour le milieu d’une Terrasse, Fig. 4e’ appears in reverse and smaller in size together with three other fountain designs on the same page. The third engraving, titled Fontaine du Genie, is based on a red chalk drawing by Edmé Bouchardon (1698- 1762), now in the musée des Beaux-Arts, Angers [1] and the designs for the other three drawings have been attributed to Bouchardon as well. [2] They style and technique of the present sheet, however, do not correspond to any of these drawings, or indeed any drawings by Bouchardon in general. It seems plausible, therefore, that the present sheet was executed at an intermediate stage, by another artist, possibly on the basis of a red chalk drawing by Bouchardon. The precise execution of the sheet, closely followed by the engraver in the final print, as well as the correction in the vase between the goat’s legs, suggest that the present drawing was directly used to transfer the design onto the plate.

Fig. 1. E. Bouchardon, Trois fontaines et un buffet d’eau pour le milieu d’une terrasse, engraving, fourth edition of La Théorie et la Pratique du Jardinage, 1747.

[1] inv. 9984.
[2] see; S. Cartuyvels and M. Conan, Antoine-Joseph Dézallier d’Argenville, La Théorie et la Pratique du Jardinage [...], Arles, 2003, p. 636 and S. Cartuyvels, Edme Bouchardon Projets de fontaines Souvenirs romains, sources égyptiennes, published version of ‘Penser la sculpture. Échanges artistiques et culturels dans le Nord de l’Europe. XVIe-XVIIIe.’ conference proceedings from a conference at the Fondation Custodia and INHA, Paris, 2013.

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