|Method||Copper engraving and stipple|
|Artist||Nicolas de Larmessin IV|
|Published||Published à Paris chez N. De Larmessin graveur du Roy, rue des Noyers à la quatrième porte coctere adroite entrant par la rue St. Jaques A.P.D.R. c.1735.|
|Dimensions||Image approx. 330 x 445 mm, Plate approx. 380 x 465 mm, Sheet approx. 420 x 550 mm|
The Four Ages of Man based on a series of four canvasses with the same titles by Nicolas Lancret.
L'Enfance/ Childhood: Inside a loggia a nurse is holding an infant in her arms while watching over several children of different ages. In the foreground two girls have helped a younger girl unto a toy cart, which is being dragged by another girl and a boy. On the right a girl is taking of a mask and in the background two children are attended to by another nurse.
Four lines of French text in two columns in the lower margin: 'Foibles amusements nez avec l'innocence, [...] A vous connoitre mieux, on vous sentiroit moins.'
La Jeunesse/ Youth: A group of young men and women are sitting in a glade amongst trees, many of them in a romantic embrace. In the foreground are two archers, and the one on the left is aiming at an unseen target on top of a pole.
Four lines of French text in two columns in the lower margin: 'Pourquoi tous ses combats si chers a la Jeunesse, […] La Lice est une Scene ou triomphe L'Amour.'
L'Adolescence/ Maturity: Inside a rotunda a group of young men and women are preparing to go out. In the centre a girl is looking into a mirror, which a kneeling boy is holding up on the right, while two girls admire her and another is adding flowers to the girl's dress. On the left a boy is talking to a girl who is pulling up her stocking.
Four lines of French text in two columns in the lower margin: Desque de ses rayons la raison nous eclaire [...] En des regards d'autruy depend notre bonheur.'
La Vieillesse/ Old Age: Three elderly people are sitting in the courtyard of a house, one woman is spinning wool while another is sleeping, while the man is petting a dog, next to them another man stands, holding a walking stick. On the right a third man is being rejected while courting a young girl.
Four lines of French text in two columns in the lower margin: Vieillards vous vous vanges du tems qui vous devore, [...] Vous dédomage assés des turbulents plaisirs.'
Nicolas de Larmessin IV (1684-1755) was a French printmaker coming from a family of engravers, print sellers and publisher. He was active in Paris and worked for nobility and the court. He specialised in reproducing paintings into print format.
Nicolas Lancret (1690-1743) was a French painter active in Paris. He studied at the Royal Academy of France (Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture) and was a pupil of Pierre Dulin and Claude Gillot. Lancret's style closely related to the style of Antoine Watteau (1684-1721), who had also been a pupil of Claude Gillot. Lancret painted genre scenes with fêtes galantes and other activities of the court and nobility.
Condition: Excellent, strong impressions. Dirt build up at the edges of sheets, not affecting images.