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Apollo & Galateia.

After Paolo de Matteis by Pierre Etienne Moitte Apollo & Galatea. "Apollon et Galathée." Dresden: Georges Conrad Walther, 'A Paris chez Moitte au coin de la rue St Julien le Pauvre près le petit Chatelet 1748' 1748-1754
Black & white copper engraving of Apollo & Galateia from the Recueil d'estampes Gravées of aprez les tableaux et de la Galerie du Cabinet de SE Mr le comte de Bruhl ...[ Plate 46], engraved by Pierre Etienne Moitte after the painting after Paolo de Matteis.
Lettered in lower margin with title and eight lines of verse; and production details: "Paulus de Matthei Pinx." and "P. Moitte Sculp." and "Tableau de 6 pieds de longeur sur 4 de hauteur qui est dans la Gallerie de S.E.M.gr Le Comte de / Bruhl Chevalier de l'Ordre de l'Aigle Blanc et Premier Ministre de sa Majesté Le Roy de Pologne Electeur de Saxe.".
The image shows Apollo in his chariot greeting Galateia who sits on her shell drawn by dolphins and accompanied by mermaids and other sea-creatures.

Galateia was one of the Nereides, fifty goddess-nymphs of the sea. Her name means either "the goddess of calm seas" from galênê and theia or "milky-white" from galaktos. Galateia frequented the coast of Sicily where she attracted the attention of the CyclopsPolyphemos. The giant wooed her with tunes from his rustic pipes, and offerings of cheese, milk, and wild fruit. The nymph, however, spurned his advances and consorted instead with a handsome Sicillian youth named Akis. When Polyphemos learned of this, he fell into a jealous rage and crushed the boy beneath a rock. Galateia was grief-stricken and transformed Akis into a stream. Dark impression; centre fold; image clean and bright; slight toning and damp stain to edges of upper and side margins; large paper; wide margins.

Pierre-Étienne Moitte (1722-1780)
French engraver, part of a family of artists. He studied in Paris with Jacques-Firmin Beauvarlet and Pierre-François Beaumont (1719-?69). He was agréé (accepted ) in 1771 by the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculptureand 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.
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. Exhibits at the Salon (1761, 1763, 1765, 1767, 1769, 1771, 1775 and 1779)


Paolo de Matteis ( 1662 - 1728)
Painter; trained in Naples in Giordano's workshop; launched his career in Rome by 1683, where he came under the influence of Carlo Maratta; worked in Paris for the French court 1702-1705, returning thence to Naples; in Rome 1723-1725; designed models for sculpture and silverware in his final years.
British Museum no:1872,0608.43. 378 by 502mm (15 by 19¾ inches).   ref: 2680  €1000

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