France 1750: The Shepherd & The King, Large Superb Oudry, La Fontaine Fable
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France 1750: The Shepherd & The King, Large Superb Oudry, La Fontaine Fable:
sale description France 1750: The Shepherd and the King, Large Superb Oudry Illustration
A large and beautiful antique engraving, eighteenth century, from a volume (The Fables of La Fontaine) regarded as one of the most exquisite examples ever of the bookmaker's craft. This superbly executed image shows a humble shepherd and his flock, left, in a conversation with a king, who speaks from his balcony. According to the story, he is about to elevate the shepherd to the rank of judge. We see the marbled columns of the palace, and elegant royal structures in the background You can read the original parable (in French) here.
This story by a great writer is here illustrated by another great, Jean-Baptiste Oudry (1686-1755), whose series of engravings for La Fontaine are justly famous. Oudry had a great reputation as an animal painter, and I love the detail of the sheep eagerly feeding, lower right. But the whole picture is a pleasure.
Dimensions of the image are generous, about 11.5 inches by 8.5 inches, on a folio-sized sheet of handmade paper with chainlines measuring about 18 inches by 12 inches. This is a fine clear impression, with only some very small traces of paper toning and ageing after 250+ years. I see a complete set of these Oudry- La Fontaine fables offered on the web for $26,007. Ahem. This excerpt is, happily, MUCH cheaper, but it is indeed an authentic, antique print and not a modern reproduction. An excellent find! Shipping within the U.S. will be $7.
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