Count Brühl’s Heron Hawking

Falens (Valens), Carel van (Antwerp 1683 – Paris 1733). Prise du Héron. Court party arriving for and opening hawking before greater place in a differentiated mountain-valley-water landscape. Already a front couple follows the imminent thrust of their falcon, while a second heron goes off. Front left bathers, on the right a party making music and centrally set back shepherd scene. Engraving by Jacques Philippe Lebas (1707 Paris 1783). Inscribed: C. Van Falens pinx. / PRISE DU HÉRON. / JC: Ph. Le Bas Sculp. … a Paris chez lauteur graveur du Roy au bas de la rue de la Harpe 1745, otherwise as below. Sheet size 18¼ × 24¾ in (46.5 × 62.9 cm).

Carel van Falens, Prise du Héron

Wurzbach I (1906), Falens/Lebas 4; Thieme-Becker, Falens, XI (1915), 227 (Dresden: Departure for Heron Hawking) & Lebas, XXII (1928), 498; Schwerdt III (1928), 95 (first state from 1741; beautiful engraving; 18½ × 25 in [47 × 63.5 cm]).

Rich large sheet in the second state following only four years after its first state with the new caption on both sides of the centered coat-of-arms documenting the meanwhile change of ownership of the painting

“ Tableau qui est dans la Galerie de S. E. Mgr. le Comte de Brühl Chevalier de l’Ordre de l’Aigle Blanc Ministre d’Etat et du Cabinet de Sa Majesté le Roy de Pologne Electeur de Saxe. ”

Per the 1741 first state the painting still was in the artist’s estate (Tiré du Cabinet de Madame Van Falens à Paris …) and the caption of the print refers beside likewise centered arms A Monsier Mead Medecin de Sa Majesté Britannique and furthermore Latin-French quatrain.

Falens was a member of the Paris Academy since 1728, for which on admission he submitted “two paintings with hunting scenes, which now are at the Louvre. F. was a very skilled imitator of N. Berchem and especially Ph. Wouvermans whom frequently pictures of F. are ascribed to.” Lebas, however, was “less important as artist than as instructor of the best French engravers of the 2nd half of the 18th century … 1743 he was admitted … to the academy. 1744 Graveur du Cabinet du Roi. L. used to have his plates worked by assistants with the etching needle and finished them himself with the burin … He engraved a number of compositions from own invention … However, his main sheets are his reproduction engravings after Watteau … yet foremost after Teniers … and Wouwerman, and the famous series worked together with Cochin after Joseph Vernet: Les Ports de France …” (each Th.-B. op. cit.).

On three sides lined with frame-like multi-part border 1 cm wide, with the sheet trimmed to the outward finishing line, below correspondingly at the lower edge of the arms. Within the border on the left a small tear of ⅜ × ⅛ in (1 × 0.3 cm) still without the actual framing. The smoothed center fold not perceptible on the front, though quite feebly a slight fold trace along the left edge of the subject and a faint brown spot in the white caption field far left, as then generally of not entirely faultless preservation, but – on the proverbial sturdy French paper with typographical & figurative watermark –

the  print  itself  in  its  richness  of  contrast  defined  by  its  chiaroscuro .

Offer no. 16,075 / EUR  1300. / export price EUR  1235. (c. US$ 1428.) + shipping

“ … Thank you again for your considered thoughts. I am interested in the ‘Clara’ piece.  Please describe the process for completing a transaction for #15,275 ”

(Mr. M. P., December 8, 2008)