Paris: Delpech, 1827. Item #05453
Street Life in Paris in the Early Nineteenth Century
Louis-Leopold Boilly's 'Collection of Moral Subjects'
Six Superb Hand-Colored Lithograph Plates
A Remarkable Survival in The Publisher's Printed Wrappers
BOILLY, L[ouis-Leopold]. Recueil de Sujets Moraux Dessinés sur Pierre par L. Boilly. Paris: Delpech, .
Oblong Folio (11 3/4 x 16 3/4 inches; 299 x 425 mm.) Six superb hand colored lithograph plates each measuring (11 1/8 x 14 7/8 inches; 282 x 378 mm.).
Loose in the publishers printed lithograph wrappers as issued. Top fold of wrappers expertly and invisibly restored, still a remarkable survival, the hand-coloring bright and fresh.
The plates, all dated "1827" were lithographed by Delpech and have the publisher's monogram "CD" on verso.
Housed in a fleece lined quarter black morocco clamshell case, spine with five raised bands, decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments.
'A Collection of Moral Subjects Drawn on Stone' An exceptionally rare set of six superb hand-colored lithographs depicting scenes from the street life of Paris in the early nineteenth century.
Exceptionally Rare. In over fifty-five years of dealing in color plate books we have never seen nor heard of this title before.
Louis-Leopold Boilly ( 1761-1845). The son of a wood-carver, Boilly lived in Douai until he was seventeen years of age, when he went to Arras to receive instruction in trompe-l'oeil painting at Domenica Doncre before moving to Paris in 1785. Between 1789 and 1791 he executed eight small scenes on moralizing and amorous subjects for the Avignon collector Esprit-Claude-François Calvet (1728–1810), including The Visit (1789; Saint-Omer, Musée Hôtel Sandelin). He regularly exhibited at the Paris Salon between 1791 and 1824 and received a gold medal at the Salon in 1804. These paintings thoroughly observed and reflected all aspects of urban life, its costumes and its habits, between the revolutionary period and the Restoration. In 1823, Boilly produced a series of humorous lithographies entitled Grimaces.
"In his choice of subjects, he had an immediate French predecessor in Philibert-Louis Debucourt (1755-1832) with whose colored prints Promenade de la Galerie du Palais Royal (1787) and La Promenade publique (1792) he was certainly familiar. Debucourt's scenes of fashionable outdoor sociability in turn derived from Thomas Rowlandson's (1757-1827) Vauxhall, a print of 1784. In adapting these prototypes Boilly gave them a plainer middle-class aspect and treated them with a profusion of mundane detail that contemporaries criticized as "Dutch" and compared to the styles of Gerard Terborch II (1617-I68I), David Teniers II (1610-1690), and Gabriel Metsu (1629-1667). The factuality of his social and physical observation was, however, tempered by his invariable classicist embellishment of his young female figures, the hard distinctness of his colors, and the glassy smoothness of his brushwork." (National Gallery of Art).
OCLC & KVK locate just one copy in libraries and institutions worldwide: Kunstbiblio Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Berlin, Germany).
Beatrice Farwell. The Charged Image has a description of plate 5 on page 44 and a black & white image on page 46.
Breton & Zuber. Vol II, p. 872, 2004E - 2009E (uncolored); Farwell pp. 44 & 46; Hiler, p.99; Lipperheide II, p. 726, no. 1157m; Not in Colas or Bobins.
1. Monsieur? C’est-y ça que vous cherchez.
Sir? Is that what you are looking for.
2. Merci Belle Dame.
Thank you Beautiful Lady.
3. Prenez brave homme il vous doit la vie.
Take good man he owes you his life.
4. Pauvre homme couvrez vous.
Poor man take cover.
5. Je te donne ma Malediction.
I give you my Curse.
6. Il y a plus malheureux que moi.
There are more unfortunate than me.