Suite of twelve prints enhanced by hand in colors and gold Print framed under glass and dressed with a blue passe-partout with gold frame 31,7 x 20,7 cm (measure taken at the passe-partout) 41,7 x 30,4 cm (frame)
Between the framing lines, in b. to l. r. B. del. À Paris Chez n. Bonnart ruë S.t Iaques à l'aigle. Presence on some months of the inscription. Presence of a handwritten numbering at the bottom right. This suggests that this suite was probably part of a collection in the 17th or 18th century.
The Bonnart family was an important dynasty in the Parisian art market of the 17th and 18th centuries. Established in the rue Saint-Jacques under the signs of the Coq and the Aigle, they played a decisive role in the emergence and success of fashion prints. This series of twelve prints representing the different months of the year is characteristic of this production, which enjoyed great popularity and a vast posterity. Printed after the drawings of Robert Bonnart, this set is edited by his brother, Nicolas, and has been finely enhanced by hand in color. This suite represents the twelve months of the year for which the artist has created allegorical figures accompanied by the corresponding zodiac sign. From the harvest to the grape harvest, Robert Bonnart has created a series that recreates the flow of a year with the great moments and emblematic activities that punctuate it. With a vast symbolic scope, these printed compositions, enriched with a quatrain, constitute a precious testimony on the perception of time as well as on the life of men and women of the Grand Siècle. In these twelve representations of the months, the Bonnart brothers show a certain talent in the variations they make. They also took advantage of this theme to dress their allegorical figures in the latest fashion of the time. This taste for finery, fabrics and ornaments is typical of the fashion image of which the Bonnarts are indissociable since this production even took their name in the 19th century. This preciousness is reinforced in this series of the twelve months of the year by a simple but finely crafted color scheme.
Bibliography: Roger-Armand Weigert, Inventaire du fonds français, graveurs du XVIIème siècle. Tome premier, Alix (Jean)-Boudeau (Jean), Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, 1939, 556 p. Marianne Grivel, Le commerce de l'estampe à Paris au XVIIe siècle, Geneva, Droz, 1986, 448 p. Pierre Casselle (dirs.), Marianne Grivel (dirs.), Corinne Le Bitouzé (dirs.) and Maxime Préaud (dirs.), Dictionnaire des éditeurs d'estampes à Paris sous l'Ancien Régime, Paris, Promodis, 1987, 334 p. Pascale Cugy, " La fabrique du corps désirable : la gravure de mode sous. Louis XIV ", in Histoire de l'art, n° 66, 2011, p. 83-93. Pascale Cugy, " Robert Bonnart. Dessins préparatoires à des gravures de mode du grand Siècle ", in Revue de la Bibliothèque nationale de France, n° 38, 2011, p. 75-84. Pascale Cugy, La dynastie Bonnart et les bonnarts. Étude d'une famille d'artistes et producteurs de " modes ", doctoral thesis under the direction of Marianne Grivel, Paris, Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2013, 3 vols.
Pascale Cugy, "Variations européennes autour des gravures de mode parisiennes. Commerce, copies et adaptations d'habits sous le règne du Roi-Soleil," in Studiolo, n° 13, 2016, p. 167-183. Pascale Cugy, La dynastie Bonnart : peintres, graveurs et marchands de modes à Paris sous l'Ancien Régime, Rennes, Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2017, 398 p.
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