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Aeneas fleeing Troy with his family

After Michel Corneille II, by Pierre Etienne Moitte. Aeneas fleeing Troy with his family "Enée sauvant sa famille de l'embrasement de Troie." 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 Aeneas fleeing Troy with his family the from the Recueil d'estampes Gravées of aprez les tableaux et de la Galerie du Cabinet de SE Mr le comte de Bruhl ...[ Plate 29], engraved by Pierre Etienne Moitte after the painting by Michel Corneille II
Numbered on plate: '29'; 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 ('Fils sensible et zélé... ne crains rien pour toy'), and provenance of original painting (collection of Comte de Bruhl).

The image shows Aeneas fleeing Troy with his family; the young bearded man stands at centre and gestures towards his family and some servants, who are approaching from the left; Aeneas' son Ascanius stands beside his father; Venus appears at centre and points to the right, while some putti can be seen carrying Aeneas' weapons with them.

Aeneas was born from the union of a mortal, Anchises and a goddess, Aphrodite. During the Trojan War, Aeneas, who some time before had been driven from Mount Ida by Achilles, was wounded by Diomedes and, having fainted, would have died if his mother had not come to his rescue. Aphrodite herself was wounded by Diomedes on this occasion, but then Apollo took over the protection of the Aeneas, removing him from the battle to the citadel, where his temple stood. In the sanctuary, Leto and Artemis healed Aeneas and made him even stronger. But for those fighting, Apollo fashioned a phantom of Aeneas, so that Achaeans and Trojans killed each other round it, until the real Aeneas, having recovered, returned to the field.
At the fall of Troy, Aeneas, who had been Leader of the Dardanians during the Trojan War, left the city in flames, and after wandering in the Mediterranean sea, came to Italy and founded the state that later became Rome. Dark impression; centre fold; generally bright; light toning; dampstain to lower margin; 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 int he Academy. Later he designed tapestries at the Manufacture des Gobelins.
British Museum no:11850,0810.425; Le Blanc not described; Robert-Dumesnil VI 285 (102 nos) 435 by 565mm (17¼ by 22¼ inches).   ref: 2682  €750

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