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AUGUSTIN DE SAINT AUBIN
after Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827)
Engraving, c. 1780
H
eight 20.3  sub height 19.5  width  14.3,  oval height 11.6, oval width 10.2 cm

 

Boglewood: 1217
Hart:  48


[Version III]

 


Source image:
Charles Wilson Peale, Type B.
Oil on canvas (1776).

  Text:
George Washington, / Commandant en Chef des Arm
ées Américaines, / Né en Virginie en 1733. / Se trouve á Paris, chez Aug. De St. Aubin, Graveur du Roi et de la Bibliothéque, actuellement rue Therese Bute St. Roch, et á la Bibliothéque / et chez Mr. Cochin, aux Galleries du Louvre, A. P. D. R.
 

Version I:  As shown, without address.
Version II:  As shown.

Version III:  As shown, with address changed to: "Se trouve à Paris, chez Aug. De St. Aubin, Graveur du Roi et de la Bibliothéque, actuellement rue Therese Bute St. Roch, et à la Bibliothéque du Roi / et chez Mr. Cochin, aux Galleries du Louvre, A. P. D. R.Collection:  Boglewood Collection.

Notes:  "The engraver, Augustin de Saint-Aubin, was an engraver to King Louis XVI of France, and printer Charles-Nicolas Cochin was the royal printer, artist and keeper of the royal library at the Louvre. Although this particular engraving is not dated, an engraving of Benjamin Franklin of near identical form and style, also by Saint-Aubin and Cochin, is dated 1777. Both prints have an identical oval medallion, an identical notched name plate, identical but mirrored shadows on the medallion and name plate, identical size, and nearly identical attribution text at the bottom of the plate. The two prints are likely to have been been made at the same time as a matched pair and presented to King Louis XVI and his court, and sold in Paris to Parisians eager to see what these two famous Americans. . . .  [T]his print is one of the earliest to show an accurate likeness of George Washington. How precisely Saint-Aubin and Cochin obtained the likeness is unknown. Perhaps a sketch of Peale's painting was sent to Paris, as there would have been time between the creation of the painting in 1776 and this engraving to circulate hastily made copies of Peale's original. In any event, it survives as one of the earliest Washington engravings, and one which was produced at the height of the American Revolution. Searches for this print in the collections of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the New York Public Library and other major institutional collections have not located any other examples of the type."  (Anthony Iasso, "Rare Flags," http://www.rareflags.com [6 August 2012])

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