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Pesne, Vernet, Saint-Aubin

The next three engravings show the diversity of Melville’s collection. Antoine Pesne was a Frenchman who studied in Italy but became the court painter to Emperor Frederick I, and then Emperor Frederick II, in Berlin. Pesne specialized in royal portraits but the one engraving Melville acquired depicts an engraver and his wife. Claude-Joseph Vernet was the leading painter of seascapes in France in the second half of the eighteenth-century, when he received a major commission from King Louis XV, but the shipwreck that Melville acquired was engraved in color by an English artist-engraver. Augustin de Saint-Aubin was nurtured in the rococo style that dominated the Académie Royale during the artistic ascendancy of Boucher, several of whose works Saint-Aubin engraved. He is represented in Melville’s collection by a cul-de-lampe he created for the catalogue of the gem collection of the Duc d’Orléans—only a few years before the French Revolution led to the breakup of that collection, along with an abrupt end to the artistic continuity of the Académie Royale as it had developed from the time of Bosse and Le Brun through Jouvenet, Watteau, Boucher, Pesne, and Vernet. 

  • Works cited in this section:
  • Arlaud, Pierre. Catalogue Raisonné des Estampes Gravées d’après Joseph Vernet. Avignon: Rulliere-Libeccio, 1976.
  • Berckenhagen, Ekhart. “Werkkatalog.” In Antoine Pesne, ed. Georg Poensgen. Berlin: Deutscher Verein für Kunstwissenschaft, 1958. 93-222.
  • Bocher, Emmanuel. Catalog Raisonné des Estampes de Augustin de Saint-Aubin. Vol. 5 of Les Gravures françaises du 18e siecle. Paris: Librarie des bibliophiles, 1875-82.
  • Cayeux, Jean de. “Augustin de Saint-Aubin” (1736-1807). Grove, 27: 530-31.
  • Conisbee, Philip. “(Claude-)Joseph Vernet.” Grove, 32: 331-34.
  • Description des Principales Pierres gravées du cabinet de S. A. S. Monseigneur de Duc d’Orléans, Premier Prince du Sang. Vol. 1. Paris: La Chau and Le Blond, 1780-84.
  • “Georg Frederic Schmidt.” In Anthony Griffiths and Frances Carey, German Printmaking in the Age of Goethe. London: British Museum Press, 1994. 49-50.
  • Hazlitt, William Criticisms on Art, and Sketches of the Picture Galleries of England. Edited by his son. 2 vol. in 1. London: J. Templeton, 1843 (Sealts no. 266a; MMO 266a).
  • Ingersoll-Smouse, Florence. Joseph Vernet: Peintre de Marine, 1714-1789 (with Catalogue Raisonné). 2 vol. Paris: Étienne Bignou, 1926.
  • “Joseph Vernet.” The Works of Eminent Masters. London: John Cassell, 1854. 2: 49-62.
  • La Fontaine, J. De. “The Impossible Thing.” In Tales and Novels in Verse.  2 v.  English translation with 123 engravings after Eisen, Lancret, Boucher, Pater, and others. London: Society of English Bibliophilists, 1896.
  • Marande, J. Patrice. “Pesne, Antoine.” Grove, 24: 541-42.
  • Oresko, Robert. “Louis-Philippe-Joseph” (Duc d’Orléans). Grove, 23: 518-20.
  • Ottley, William Young. Engravings of the Most Noble the Marquis of Stafford’s Collection of Pictures. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1818. 4 vol.