Lot 57: Faesch, called Jean-Louis Fesch (Johann Ludwig Wernhard, c. 1738-1778) Portraits of Voltaire, Garrick and three French actors, circa 1765-1775.

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November 15, 2016
London, United Kingdom

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Description: Faesch (Johann Ludwig Wernhard), called Jean-Louis Fesch (c. 1738-1778), Portraits of Voltaire, Garrick and three French actors, five pen and black ink drawings, point of the brush, with watercolour and bodycolour, three heightened with gold, four on vellum, one (Voltaire) on paper, three inscribed by the artist, each further identified on later decorative wash and gilt bordered overmount, each portrait: c. 100 x 88 mm. (3 7/8 x 3 3/8 in), mount: 285 x 330 mm. (11 1/4 x 13 in), circa 1765-1775, (5) ⁂ Johann Ludwig Faesch, Swiss portrait painter and miniaturist, was also known as Fäsch, Fesch, de Fesch and, pseudonymously, Whirsker and Wirsker. During his visit to Paris in 1765, David Garrick was presented with a collection of miniature portraits by Faesch of actors at the Comedie-Francaise. The artist pursued the connection, arriving in London in May 1768 with an introduction to England's greatest actor and within two years saw the first series of his theatrical portrait engravings published by Sayer. He went on to portray many actors and actresses of the Comedie-Francaise and Comedie-Italienne in Paris and Drury Lane Theatre in London. The subjects of the present drawings, all depicted full-length and in profile, are as follows: Voltaire, the pose as the engraving by Ravenet of 1773, in reverse and with variations of costume; David Garrick as Lattier in Venice Preserv'd; Jean-Louis La Ruette as Colas in Les Chasseurs; Germain-Francois Poullain de Saint-Foix, playright and author and Preville as Boniface Chretien in Le Mercure gallant. "Fäsch is the first artist to be said with certainty to have drawn his subjects directly from actual performance." (Harvard Theatre Collection) Literature: Maria Ines Aliverti, The Miniatures of Jean Louis Faesch and their Printed Versions. A Theatrical Paper Museum, 2011 [see: http://www.actingarchives.unior.it/online, accessed 4th October 2016]
Notes: Category: Literature, Manuscripts and History
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