What Pierre Patel was to Parisian painting, Gabriel Pérelle (1604-1677) was to Parisian engraving. He too had a son (Adam, 1640-1695) with whom his work is often confused. In Röthlisberger’s words, Gabriel and Adam Pérelle are “the graphic equivalent of the art of Patel.” Together, they were “the most fertile manufactory of landscape” in their day, creating “no fewer than thirteen hundred landscape engravings.” Their landscape style “blends Franco-Italian classicism and Dutch elements with a decorative elegance which anticipates much of the eighteenth century” (Röthlisberger, “The Pérelles,” 284). Garbriel Pérelle made some reproductive engravings after paintings by Patel and others, but he worked “principally from his own drawings of many landscapes, seaports, and pastoral scenes, generally drawn from imagination, with some monotony in the depiction of scenery.” His work is “often confused” with that of his son and pupil Adam (Meyer, 397).
Most of Gabriel’s “extant prints were published more than fifty years after the artist’s death” by the Mariette family of engravers in Paris (Röthlisberger). Others were published by Le Blond in Paris and still others by the Drevet family of engravers. The five Perelles in Melville’s collection were designed as well as engraved “par Pérelle.” They divide into two types of landscape subjects listed by Charles Le Blanc in his partial inventory of prints attributed to Gabrielle Pérelle: Paysages avec figures (nos. 77-102, published by Mariette) and Paysages ornés de ruins et d’édifices antiques (nos. 74-76, published by Le Blond).
- Works cited in this section:
- Barbin, Madeleine. “Drevet.” Grove, 9: 296.
- Duplessis, Georges. The Wonders of Engraving. London: Low and Marston, 1871 (Sealts no. 195).
- Les Oeuvres des Perelles, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. Vol. 2, 5 in the Kupferstich Kabinett, Dresden State Museum.
- Meyer, Véronique. “Pérelle.” Grove, 24: 397.
- Röthlisberger, Marcel. “The Pérelles.” Master Drawings 5.3 (1967): 283-85.
- Russo, Kathleen. “Le Blond.” Grove, 19: 16-17.
- Walsh, Amy L. “Mariette Family.” Grove Dictionary of Art Online, 2003.