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Catalogue of an Exhibition of Engravings After Watteau, Lancret, Pater, Chardin, Boucher, Van Loo, Fragonard, and Other Artists of the XVIII Century in France

Catalogue of an Exhibition of Engravings After Watteau, Lancret, Pater, Chardin, Boucher, Van Loo, Fragonard, and Other Artists of the XVIII Century in France

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Excerpt from Catalogue of an Exhibition of Engravings After Watteau, Lancret, Pater, Chardin, Boucher, Van Loo, Fragonard, and Other Artists of the XVIII Century in France: With an Introduction and Biographical Notes

HE Eighteenth Century in France is the playground of the collector. Never before or since has the Art of Living attained to a like perfection, never such attention been given to the acces sories of life. This is attested by number less paintings and engravings Which form an invaluable record of an age Which can never return. To please was almost the sole preoccupation; to beautify, to render more p agreeable the daily life of a society devoted to pleasure, past masters in the art of living, Was the aim alike of painter, draughtsman, or engraver of each and every artist Who could contribute by his skill to the perfec tion of the tout ensemble. It is an art unparalleled at any epoch, and it is not an Overstatement to say that there exist no prints more decorative than those of the French School of the Eighteenth Century. In England, until recent years, these pic tures have been less appreciated than they deserve; in America (save for afew enlight ened amateurs), they have been known hardly at all. Such examples as have been offered in this country have been, but too often, of a pronouncedly gallant charac ter, better suited to the portfolio of the collector than to the decoration of the home;yet many, the majority, of the engravings of this School are not only altogether delightful, but are free from any taint of immorality. In the present exhibition there are shown examples of the best painters of that period, interpreted by many of the ablest and most esteemed engravers of the Eighteenth Century in France.

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