La Récréation ChampêtreArtist(s)Jean-Baptiste Le PrinceObject Creation Date1769Medium & Supportaquatint and etching on on off-white laid paperDimensions
11 3/4 in. x 9 1/2 in. ( 29.9 cm x 24.1 cm )Credit LineMuseum PurchaseLabel copy
Unlike engravers whose tonal passages were created through a mechanical process involving roulettes and other tools, Le Prince was important for using the chemical process of aquatint to create similar tonal effects. In this print, Le Prince pairs the medium of etching, with its more uneven line created by immersing a ground-covered plate in acid, with aquatint to emulate ink wash.
A student of Boucher, Le Prince was a painter and printmaker who was received as a member of the Académie Royale in 1765. He spent several years in St. Petersburg and was commissioned to create decorations for the Czar’s new Winter Palace. In this image set in an idyllic pastoral setting, a young man serenades a pair of young women, a subject frequently encountered in his master’s work. The women are portrayed as shepherdesses, but they are both more elegantly and more exotically attired, possibly reflecting Le Prince’s interest in Russian costume.
Exhibition label copy from "Eighteenth Century French Prints and Drawings," February 1 - May 4, 2003 by Curator Carole McNamaraPrimary Object ClassificationPrintCollection AreaWesternRights
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