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Rustic Hours Evening Les Heures Champ?tres. La Soir
Tessari & Co, London 1815 - A stunning print after Francis Wheatley, one of the most celebrated genre painters of his day. Wheatley was born and trained in London, and in 1769 was one of the first students admitted to the newly founded Royal Academy. Although he initially practiced as a landscape painter, by the mid 1770s he had become a popular painter of small-scale portraits and informal 'conversation-pieces'. From the 1780s onwards, Wheatley turned increasingly to sentimental domestic scenes that were perfectly attuned to the genteel sensibilities of the period. Today he is generally remembered for his Cries of London, which depicted street vendor such as milkmaids, and fruit sellers engaged in their trade on the street sides. This series was a great success, and inspired a myriad of different engravings and copies by celebrated artists such as Johan Zoffany and J. G. Huck. Wheatley's pretty genre paintings of rural and domestic life were a great source of inspiration for contemporary engravers who reproduced his work with industrious vigor. The popularity of these engravings greatly enhanced Wheatley's reputation, and made him one of the most celebrated painters of his day. Wheatley originally produced four images for the 'Rustic Hours' series which were engraved by H. Gillbank and published in 1800. The present plate is the Thouvenin issue. He is known to have worked on at least two of the images. The scene itself seems curiously theatrical: everyone arrayed in colorful clothes and all gathered in the garden. The husband has come home with his shovel over his shoulder, indicating that he works with his hands. This attention given to the life of agricultural families was something new to printmaking, an exaltation of the common man and English country life in general, based on the growing belief that that is where the soul of England lay. Roberts, F. Wheatley, R.A. His Life and Works p.44. Colour printed stipple engraving with hand-finishing.
      [Bookseller: Donald A. Heald Rare Books (ABAA)]
Last Found On: 2014-07-29           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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