Item #1162 Mes Gens, ou les commissionnaires Ultramontains au service de qui veut les payer. Augustin de Saint-Aubin.
Mes Gens, ou les commissionnaires Ultramontains au service de qui veut les payer.
Mes Gens, ou les commissionnaires Ultramontains au service de qui veut les payer.
Mes Gens, ou les commissionnaires Ultramontains au service de qui veut les payer.
Engraver to the King of France

Mes Gens, ou les commissionnaires Ultramontains au service de qui veut les payer.

Paris: Ches Basan rue du Foin, et ches St. Aubin Graveur rue des Mathurins au petit Hotel de Clugny, [1766-1770]. Item #1162

Folio half sheets.  320 z 205 mm., [12 ½ x 8 ¼ inches].  Engraved title and 7 engraved plates, designed by Augustin de Saint-Aubin and engraved by J.-B. Tillard; the final engraving without signature of the engraver.  Fine impressions, some light soiling to the paper stock.


Only edition of Saint-Aubin’s series of “cries”, complete with architectural and landscape backgrounds and interiors. 


Following in the tradition of 18th century French book illustration and etching, Augustin de Saint-Aubin [1736-1807] amplified the design characteristics of Gravelot, Cochin, Eisen, and especially J. M. Moreau.  In addition to his numerous portrait engravings and title-pages for book illustrations, he is best remembered for his drawings of contemporary life as exemplified by this rare series of etchings  of depicting Savoyards, young boys who offered their services on the streets of Paris as letter carriers, messenger boys, shoeshine boys, and barrel organ players. 


What distinguished Saint-Aubin’s style was his technique of using a burin to deepen the lines created by his etching, thus producing thick contour lines and heavy contrasts between light and dark.  See how the contour lines pop the facial composition of his subjects and emphasize the physical characteristics of the figure.  He Saint-Aubin’s career lasted through the period of the French Revolution but his taste for rococo style was superseded by the neo-classical style favored during the reign of Napoleon.


Saint-Aubin’s vision is beautifully rendered into print by Jean Baptiste Tillard [1740-1813].  Like Saint-Aubin, Tillard was a student of Étienne Fessard, who was appointed engraver to the King, a position awarded to Saint-Aubin after his death in 1771.  According to Cohen-DeRicci, Tillard  was a prolific engraver during the last part of the 18th century, producing hundreds of engraved, portraits, landscapes, and architectural views.


Cohen-DeRicci, Guide de l’Amateur de Livres a Gravures du XVIII Siecle, p. 923.  Arthur Hind, A History of Engraving and Etching, pp. 217 & 371.  


Not in NUC.  OCLC lists one copy at the Library of Congress with  title-page and 7 plates and a copy at Kunstbiblio Staatliche Museen zu Berlin with title -page and 6 plates.

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Price: $4,000.00

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