BOSSE, Abraham Les cinq sens : L’ouïe – la vue – l’odorat – le goût – le toucher.

Price : 20.000,00 

The masterpiece of Abraham Bosse.
First issue of one of the most admirable, famous and rare series of French prints of the reign of Louis XIII engraved in 1635.

1 in stock

SKU: LCS-18442 Category:

Paris, 1635.

Complete series of five etchings.

(G. Duplessis 1071 to 1075 – A. Blum 1028 to 1032).

325 x 255 mm.

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First issue of one of the most admirable, famous and rare series of French prints of the reign of Louis xiii engraved in 1635.

The five engravings, cut to the frame, are in high quality proofs: they are each placed in a sumptuous elm burl frame (510 x 450mm).

“Abraham Bosse achieved with his point an astonishing virtuosity, to the point of engraving entire plates at a single size, a tour de force that had only been practiced with the burin, and for which he had no imitator. He drew with great ease, with a lot of spirit, enjoying representing, in charming compositions, whose truth reminds the Dutch masters, the customs of his time. His engravings illustrated religious themes interpreted in contemporary life (The Bad Rich Man and the Poor Lazarus), theatrical scenes, historical events, especially of a domestic nature (Birth of Louis XIV) and scenes of the rich bourgeoisie or the nobility. It is not without mockery, but always with precision, that he presents the French nobility in the church, the Works of Mercy, the intimate scenes of bourgeois families.

Mariette says with reason, speaking about engravings of Bosse: “… He represented there what occurs every day in the civil life, and that in a naive way, so true that one can hardly wish anything more interesting. Abraham Bosse remains original, borrowing nothing from Italian art he was essentially “French”. He sometimes signed Bosse and A. Bosse”.

Each of the prints is accompanied by captions in the form of quatrains in Latin and French.

“For a faithful picture of comfortable french life during the regency and early part of the reign of Louis xiv, one must turn to the etchings of Abraham Bosse. He was typically the artist of the upper middle class, and he depicted their manners and customs with peculiar fidelity, sobriety, and vividness.

The upper middle class is in general the backbone of the culture of a nation. It is they, through their opportunities for higher education, who supply the learned professions, law, medicine, and theology. They stand midway, between the frivolousness of the court and the indigence of the proletariat. It is they who buy books and pictures, who patronize the theatre, who cultivate music.” Carl Zigrosser. Prints and their creators. New York 1974.

The meeting of the mathematician Desargues had a happy influence on his talent, leading him to a thorough study of perspective. He quarreled with Le Brun, whom he criticized, among other things, for not respecting the rules of perspective, and published the very important Traité des manières de graver en taille-douce.

It was one of the great moments of French printmaking of the classical age.

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BOSSE, Abraham


Paris, 1635.