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Lot 44: Pierre-Etienne MOITTE (1722-1780) French Engraver
29 October 2016
Wells, ME, USA
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Description: [ART - OLDMASTER] Pierre-Etienne MOITTE (1722, Paris, 1780, Paris) French engraver, part of a family of artists. He studied in Paris with Jacques-Firmin Beauvarlet and Pierre-François Beaumont (1719-1769). He was accepted in 1771 by the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture and subsequently signed his prints 'Graveur du Roi'. Between c. 1747 and 1754 he was one of the principal engravers commissioned to work for the 'Cabinet de S.E.M. Le Comte de Brühl,' a collection published in Dresden in 1754 and consisting of 50 plates after selected paintings from the celebrated collection owned by Heinrich von Brühl. In addition to the Mystic Marriage of St Catherine after Correggio and three history subjects after Jean-Baptiste Corneille, Moitte contributed 11 masterly pieces after Dutch and Flemish paintings, including the Dutch Merchant and the Flemish Cook after Gerrit Dou; the Broken Egg, after Frans van Mieris the Elder; the Judgement of Paris after Rubens; four landscapes after Jacob van Ruisdael and Guillam Dubois (c. 1610-80); and Travellers' Rest and Horses at the Watering Trough after Philips Wouwerman. Moitte enjoyed a successful career in Paris by reproducing works after 18th-century French painters such as Nicolas Lancret, François Boucher and Pierre-Antoine Baudouin. Above all, he popularised sentimental genre paintings by Greuze, producing such prints as the Wrathful Mother, Repentance and the Idle Woman. Like most reproductive printmakers of the period, Moitte also engraved designs for book illustrations; thus he provided 17 plates after drawings by Jean-Baptiste Oudry for the four-volume folio edition of Jean de La Fontaine's Fables published between 1755 and 1759. Original engraving, from the 18th century, approx. 11-1/4 x 8-1/4". Wide margins. Old damp stains in bottom margin..
Condition Report: Old damp stains in bottom margin.