It need hardly be said that Watteau does not figure in this series by virtue of being a great engraver or etcher. But it is our intention to deal with phases and periods of engraving as well as with separate masters of the art, and a period is often best defined by the painter who was the inspiring force behind a whole group of engravers. Watteau was never the head of a school of engravers in the same sense as Rubens. Rubens realised, like Raphael and Van Dyck, the practical benefit that might be reaped from issuing prints after his own works, and almost monopolised the time of several of the greatest engravers of the period, keeping them in some instances in his studio, and giving the closest supervision to the progress of their work. With Watteau, on the other hand, it remained rather for the publisher and patron to have his work reproduced in engraving, and in spite of his early popularity, a premature death at the age of thirty-six rendered it impossible for any large number of prints to have been produced under his personal supervision. It was only after his death that his constant friend and patron, M. de Julienne, was able to realise the project of a corpus of engravings that should adequately illustrate the master's achievement as painter and draughtsman. And no painter has received a more magnificent monument than the superb "Recueil" carried out by Julienne as a memorial to his friend. The engraving by Tardieu, after a lost picture, given as our frontispiece, is the happiest record of a disinterested friendship that will always reflect honour on the master's patron.
Inscription in flyleaf.
Pages aren't numbered, approx 90.
Pages in good condition, some browning around the edges.
Cover and spine is quite worn, a few tears on spine.