Schmidt – Pesne, Antoine (Paris 1683 – Berlin 1757). The Engraver / G(eorg). F(riedrich). Schmidt & Frau. The draughtsman and engraver (1712 Berlin 1775) leaning upon a copper plate and already showing with his right the solution while his left still holding “La Impossible” as opened book. Sitting on the other side his wife Dorothee Louise, née Videbant. Steel engraving by William French (c. 1815 – East Grinstead 1898). 3rd quarter of the 19th century. Inscribed: Antoine Pesne pinxt. / W. French sc., otherwise as above. 5⅝ × 5⅝ in (14.3 × 14.3 cm).
Thieme-Becker, Pesne, 467 ff., and, Schmidt, 142 (“Besides J. W. Meil and Chodowiecki principal representative of the Berlin engraving in the 18th century, particularly for the portrait”). – Some weak little fox spots in the wide white margin. – Interesting, too, for the working material lying besides the plate on the table. Schmidt, son of a clothier, was “one of the most famous artists of the 18th century” (Nagler).
“ Prominent rendering finally a number of portraits deserve, in which (Pesne), unrestricted by courtly convention and the wishes of high-ranking orderers, has depicted his friends (G. F. Schmidt and wife, Berlin, Deutsches Mus., and others more) and his relatives …
“ Among the Berlin painters of the 18th century P. is by far the most important artist personage and together one of the most excellent rococo painters of Germany ”
(C. F. Foerster, Thieme-Becker, op. cit.).
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(Herr N. B., 3. Januar 2003)