Noce de Village and Le Menuet de la Mariee

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Noce de Village and Le Menuet de la Mariee
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Charles-Melchior Descourtis after Nicolas-Antoine Taunay
(Noce de Village)
Paris 1785
Etching printed in black and four colours from five plates.
320 x 250 mm.
Philibert-Louis Debucourt
(Le Menuet de la Mariee)
Paris 1786
320 x 250 mm
Etching printed in black and four colours from five plates
Trimmed within platemark and titles.
£!250 the pair.
A famous pair of Eighteenth Century French Colour Prints.
Descourtis’s Noce de Village was first published as a single print in August 1785 and was taken from a gouache by Taunay who had recently left Paris for the French Academy in Rome. The print met with great success, for in Taunay’s absence, Descourtis agreed to allow Debucourt to provide a pair from his own invention, Le Menuet de la Mariee  which was published in October 1786.
These two images form one of the most beautiful pairs of colour prints published in eighteenth-century France. The technique, learned from Janinet, of  using fine-toothed tools to produce subtle gradations, has been used to brilliant effect.