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Diana, Artemis Preparing for the Hunt

After: Charles de Lafosse Pierre Etienne Moitte Preparations for the Hunt. "Préparatifs pour la chasse" Dresden: Georges Conrad Walther, 1740-1754
Black & white copper engraving of Diana- Artemis preparing for the hunt, from the Recueil d'estampes Gravées of aprez les tableaux et de la Galerie du Cabinet de SE Mr le comte de Bruhl ...[ Plate 32], engraved by Pierre Etienne Moitte after the painting by Charles de Lafosse.
Insribed below the image the producers' names, title, verses on either site of Bruhl's coat of arms ('Que viens-tu faire ici... J'attrape souvent la plus fine'), and dimensions and provenance of original painting (collection of Comte de Bruhl).

The image shows Artemis-Diana and her nymphs resting in a landscape, one of the nymphs is helping the goddess to put on her sandals, while another pours the content of a small vase over her head
According to the Homeric account and Hesiod (Theog. 918) Artemis was the daughter of Zeus and Leto She was the sister of Apollo, and born with him at the same time in the island of Delos. One of the great divinities of the Greeks. Her name is usually derived from artemês, uninjured, healthy, vigorous; according to which she would be the goddess who is herself inviolate and vigorous, and also grants strength and health to others.
The representations of the Greek
Artemis in works of art are different accordingly as she is represented either as a huntress, or as the goddess of the moon; yet in either case she appears as a youthful and vigorous divinity, as becomes the sister of Apollo. As the huntress, she is tall, nimble, and has small hips; her forehead is high, her eyes glancing freely about, and her hair tied up behind in such a manner, that some locks float down her neck; her breast is covered, and the legs up to the knees are naked, the rest being covered by the chlamys. Her attributes are the bow, quiver, and arrows, or a spear, stags, and dogs. As the goddess of the moon, she wears a long robe which reaches down to her feet, a veil covers her head, and above her forehead rises the crescent of the moon. In her hand she often appears holding a torch. Dark impression; centre fold; 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)


Charles de Lafosse (1636 - 1716)
Major decorative painter; trained by Charles Le Brun; painted at Versailles; in 1689-92 in London decorating Montagu House; key influence on Watteau.
British Museum no:1850,0810.428 Le Blanc 43 380 by 497mm (15 by 19½ inches).   ref: 2679  €750

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