The Magic Picture: Zémire et Azor

Accession Number

The Magic Picture: Zémire et Azor

François Voyez

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
engraving on laid paper

18 1/8 in x 12 7/8 in (46.04 cm x 32.7 cm);28 1/16 in x 22 1/16 in (71.28 cm x 56.04 cm);18 1/8 in x 13 in (46.04 cm x 33.02 cm);17 5/8 in x 12 7/16 in (44.77 cm x 31.59 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Hubert L. and Doris M. Grigaut for The Paul Leroy Grigaut Memorial Collection

Label copy
It is instructive to compare the engraving of The Magic Picture: Zémir et Azor with the drawing upon which it is based. Although the engraver translated the original with an eye to distinguishing differences of texture and material, there are important distinctions to be noted between the two media: the softness of the original chalk drawing translates into a harder-edged line in the engraving. One subtle difference is the expression in the figures’ faces. In the drawing, there is an emphasis on the mouth and eye contact between figures that conveys the immediacy of a live performance, whereas in the engraving the features have become more fixed and static.
Voyez came from a family of engravers. Both François Voyez and his brother Nicolas-Joseph made their reputations engraving works by contemporary artists such as Jean-Baptiste Greuze, François Boucher, and Charles Eisen.
Exhibition label copy from "Eighteenth Century French Prints and Drawings," February 1 - May 4, 2003 by Curator Carole McNamara
"Zémir and Azor" was a four-act comic opera based on the story of Beauty and the Beast. The composer was André Ernest Modeste Grétry (1741-1813). This work was first performed at Fontainebleau, and then in Paris at the Comédie Italienne, in 1771.
This drawing was in the collection of Jules and Edmond de Goncourt. A catalogue describing this work in their collection contains the following: In a theatre we see a sultan is his harem; at right, there is an actor with the appearance of a man-beast; at left, a woman is singing.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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2 Related Resources

Art of the Enlightenment Era
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Theater and Drama
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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