After Michel Corneille II, by Pierre Etienne Moitte. Apotheosis of Aeneas. "L'heureux destin d'Enée." Dresden. Georges Conrad Walther, 'A Paris chez Moitte, au coin de la rue St Julien le Pauvre, près le petit Chatelet, 1747.' 1747-1754
Black & white copper engraving of the Apotheosis of Aeneas from the Recueil d'estampes Gravées of aprez les tableaux et de la Galerie du Cabinet de SE Mr le comte de Bruhl, engraved by Pierre Etienne Moitte after the painting by Michel Corneille II Numbered on plate: '31'; lettered with producers' names, publication address: 'A Paris chez Moitte, au coin de la rue St Julien le Pauvre, près le petit Chatelet, 1747', title, verses on either site of Bruhl's coat of arms ('Pour toi, Venus obtient un règne glorieux... l'eloquence est trop grande'), and provenance of original painting (collection of Comte de Bruhl).
The image shows the Apotheosis of Aeneas, with Ganymede pouring the ambrosia into a cup held by the young man who is sitting at centre, while nearby Zeus converses with Aphrodite, his arm placed around the goddess' shoulders. It is said that Aphrodite asked Zeus to make Aeneas immortal, and as Zeus granted her request, the river god Numicius washed away all of Aeneas' mortal parts, and Aphrodite anointed him with Nectar and Ambrosia, making him a god, whom the people later worshipped under the name of Indiges. Dark impression; clean and bright; 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 accepted (agréé) 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)
Michel Corneille II ((1642 - 1708) He is called 'Corneille l'ainé' to distinguish him from his brother Jean-Baptiste . Painter and etcher; son and pupil of Michel Corneille I, also trained by Charles Le Brun and Pierre Mignard. In Rome 1659-63. Founder member in 1663 and later professor in the Academy. Later he designed tapestries at the Manufacture des Gobelins.
British Museum no:1850,0810.427; Le Blanc 11; Robert-Dumesnil VI 285 (102 nos) 435 by 565mm (17¼ by 22¼ inches).
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