The printmaker and his subject, Drevet and Rigaud, were among the leading portraitists of their generation. These friends and colleagues often collaborated. Rigaud would paint the most powerful and fashionable people of the time, then Drevet would translate, with unparalleled skill, the tonal qualities of the painting into the black and white medium of a print. Drevet’s ability to distinguish the varied textures of his sitter’s clothing, using only lines created by his engraver’s burin, is quite remarkable. This print is based on a self-portrait drawing by Rigaud of 1712. His profession is clear: he holds a stylus in one hand and a portfolio filled with papers in the other, while an easel is visible in the background. The finished state of the print is inscribed on the tablet below the window and dated 1721.
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- Titles Portrait of Hyacinthe Rigaud (Descriptive)
- Artist Pierre Drevet, French, 1663 - 1738
- Medium engraving
- Dimensions sheet: 18 3/4 × 13 13/16 in. (47.6 × 35.1 cm) plate: 18 5/16 × 13 7/16 in. (46.5 × 34.1 cm) image: 17 13/16 × 13 1/16 in. (45.2 × 33.2 cm) mat: 24 × 20 in. (61 × 50.8 cm)
- Credit Line Gift of Patty McDonald, 2011.5
- Work Type print
- Classification Prints
- Signature Verso: Lower left, stamped in black ink: [with initials inscribed in box] A.F.D. [Lugt 119] Lower left, stamped in blue ink: [with letters circled] FK [Lugt 1021]
- Marks Verso: Lower left, stamped in black ink: [with initials inscribed in box] A.F.D. [Lugt 119] Lower left, stamped in blue ink: [with letters circled] FK [Lugt 1021]
- Inscription Recto: Lower right, in graphite: 1212 Verso: Lower left, in graphite, over A.F.D.: [numbers, illegible] Lower right, along right edge [sideways], in graphite: Pierre Drevet le père 1eme et Très-rare épreuve avant toutes lettre [illegible] 100. D1. 18[9?]55.
- Provenance Friedrich Kalle, Cologne and Bonn (Lugt 1021);
His sale, F.A.C. Prestel, Frankfurt/Main, November 22 and following days, 1875, lot 205, described as magnifique epreuve avant toutes lettres, avec 5 mm de marge;
Ambroise Firmin-Didot, Paris (Lugt 119);
His sale, Hotel Drouot, Paris, April 16 and the following days, 1877, lot 4171, described as premier etat, avant toutes lettres, fort rare, superbe epreuve, sold for 210 gold francs
(sale information is according to dealer; has not been verified)