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La Promenade Publique (3rd State), 1792
The Public Promenade
Etching, engraving and aquatint in yellow, blue, red and black inks from four plates
456 x 635 mm.; 18 x 25 1/16 inches
Signed, lower left
Fenaille 1899, 35-36, no. 35, state iii/iii
Widerner 1923, I:157-61, no. 95, state iv/iv
Inventaire 18e siècle 6: 175, no. 26
Regency to Empire, 1984-1985: no. 103, pp.290-291
Graveurs Français, 1985: no. 148, pp. 112-113: III/III
Colorful Impressions, 2003: no. 83, pp.144-1`45
This is a supberb impression of undoubtedly Debucourt’s most famous print. Ittmann (Regency to Empire, p. 290) points out that in this work Debucourt depicts a pink-clad duc d’Aumount “indolently sprawling across three chairs”. Debucourt also shows the duc de Chartres (the future Louis XVIII) blowing a kiss to an admirer. All this took place just a year before the execution of Louis XVIII’s father, Philippe Egalité. Ittmann (ref. above) also points out that Debucourt was very much an experimental printmaker who already, by this time, had appropriated the English mezzotint and stipple techniques and here added the use of aquatint. Ittmann concludes that La Promenade Publique is “not only the last and greatest color print of the eighteenth century, it also appears to be the only major example of multi-color printing of the period to use aquatint”.
Fenaille (M. Fenaille L’Oeuvre gravé de P. -L. Debucourt 1755-1832, Paris, 1899) describes three states of this work:
First State – before all letters
Second State – signed below and then to left:
Dessiné & Gravé par Debucourt Peintre & Graveur
Third State – below the title:
A Paris chez Depeyuille, Md. d’Estampes, Rue Denis No. 52.
Section du Bon Conseil./Imprimé per Blin Jne.