Le Concert A Madame La Comtesse de Saint Brisson. Engraving by Antoine Jean Duclos (1742-1795) after the drawing by Augustin de Saint-Aubin (1736-1807)

Paris: [ca. 1780]. 302 x 430 mm + margins. On laid paper with "J Dupuy Fin Auvergne 1742" watermark.

The print depicts a chamber concert from the time of King Louis XV featuring performers on the harpsichord, violin, cello, double bass, flute, harp, etc. before a group of well-dressed ladies and gentleman assembled in an elegant room in the home of the Countess de Saint Brisson. One of a pair of engravings, the other titled "Le Bal Paré."

Browned; some minor foxing; lower margin slightly trimmed to just within platemark; remnants of former mount to upper edge of blank verso.

Beck & Roth: Music in Prints 34. Kinsky: A History of Music in Pictures 247:1. Komma: Musik Geschichte in Bildern 402. Boucher: Catalogue de l'oeuvre de A. de Saint-Aubin 403.

"An afternoon of chamber music is being given in the palatial music room of a princely home for a gathering which may well include the king of France and his courtiers. Duclos's engraving, Le Concert, made after a drawing by Augustin de St Aubin in 1773, is full of musical detail, even to the decoration on the walls. Numerous instruments are to be discoveredd about the room, some of them in use, others lying about presumably awaiting another group of performers to take over. A high-ranking personage (the king [Louis XV]?) can be seen in the center, attentively listening to the music, while the other guests are enjoying the concert with him, or are busily engaged in conversation. Can it be a trio sonata they are hearing, played by flute, violin, and harpsichord with the violoncello duplicating the bass line in traditoinal fashion - or possibly a solo cantata with the same instruments, the soprano soloist standing to the right of the violinist? Both are typical "intimate" musical forms of the day which were especially cultivated in such aristocratic surroundings. The gentleman standing close to the keyboard is the inevitable page turner, and there appear to be two conscientious score readers, one in the foreground and the other before the window directly behind. A close look at the idle instruments will reveal, besides the harp, a violin and oboe on the long music stand behind the honored guest, and a violoncello and a bassoon placed against the chair on which he is leaning. A bass viol (double bass) with long neck and beautifully carved scroll is clearly visible to the left of the music stand, the bow tucked in under its strings."

"This engraving, dedicated to the Countess of Brisson, is interesting not only as a costume piece and vivid picture of elegant society under Louis XV, but also as an important record of the musical life of the day." Beck & Roth. Item #31994

Price: $550.00  other currencies

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