Death has Revealed the Secret of His LifeArtist(s)Gilles Demarteau
; Charles-Nicolas CochinObject Creation Date18th centuryMedium & Supportcrayon-manner engraving on laid paperDimensions
10 3/4 in x 8 1/4 in (27.31 cm x 20.96 cm)Credit LineGift of Professor Walter M. and Nesta R. SpinkSubject matter
This complex allegory was published to honor the recently deceased heir to the French throne, Louis Dauphin of France (4 September 1729 – 20 December 1765). Death pulls down a curtain to reveal the allegory. The insignia of the Dauphin is at the top center, and underneath are various personifications of virtues and other allegorical figures (including Justice, Valour, Vigilence, Learning, Prudence, Decency, Modesty, and Conjugal Affection; History writes in a book, and Time is shown with hands bound behind his back). Beneath the image are verse by the fourth-century Roman poet Ausonius, in Latin, and by the 18th century philosophe
Denis Diderot, in French.
Crayon-manner engraving was a recent innovation in printmaking that enabled prints to look like drawings; Cochin's design for the print was originally rendered in red and black chalk. Physical Description
A group of figures in classical drapery are arranged between two columns and underneath a piece of draped swag ornamented with garland. A coat of arms emanating light is visible behind the swag. At the bottom left, a skeleton almost completely covered in drapery pulls down a larger piece of swag that had been concealing the figural group. All of the figures are women, except for one figure (a winged man with hands bound behind his back). They carry various attributes, such as scales, lillies, a lamp, and so on.
Below the image are several Inscriptions:
At lower left: C.N. Cochin filius inv. et delin.
At lower right: Demarteau l'Ainé sculp
At bottom center: Nempè quod injecit secreta modestia, velum / Scinditur, et vitae gloria morte patet Aufon. / LA MORT A RÉVÉLÉ LE SECRET DE SA VIE.Primary Object Classification Print Primary Object Typeintaglio printCollection AreaWesternRights
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allegory (artistic device)