French Prints: Fashion Plates & Louis-Leopold Boilly & Little Napoleon

I’ve been collecting these french prints for a few years now, this is the first time any of them has made it up on the wall!  We’ve grouped them together above a crazy art deco cabinet we got to house all the depression glass and absinthe collectibles.

The piece de resistance, a pair of large framed prints, were recently acquired at the Alameda Antiques Faire, I nearly fell over myself to get these, and the price was amazing. Shall I tell you? $75 for the pair.  The artist, Louis-Leopold Boilly, is an obsession of mine, seeing as his career straddled the Ancien Régime all the way through the Post-Napoleonic period. This pair of prints Defends Moi & La Lecon D’union Conjugal also reference the famous Before & After by Hogarth: depicting the struggle of seduction, and the exhaustion of surrender.  These are from the Directoire Period, circa 1797!

Thanks to Google Books for this quote:

“During the Directoire, Boilly produced a number of compositions, of which a good many were executed by an engraver of no very great talent, named Petit. Prints such as ” Defends-moi,” ” Tu saurais ma pensee,” ” Ah ! qu’il est sot ! ” and others in the same style are fairly common, and not particularly worthy of attention. On the other hand, certain coloured and uncoloured prints after Boilly have within recent years attained a considerable rise in value. ” — French Prints of the 18th Century

The rest are Directoire Period Fashion Plates & Kissing Games, Famous and Infamous Madames du Lettres: Mme de Staël, Mme Roland & Mlle Lemornand, a tiny print of the Palais du Justice & Conciergerie (last holding place of Marie Antoinette and so many others who went to the guillotine), and a tiny victorian miniature of Little Napoleon himself. Oh, and don’t forget the tiny dime store vase featuring Madame Recamier, the famous beauty of the Directoire and Empire!

On Collecting: I’m fascinated by Georgian & Victorian collectors, my stepmom just sent me this Guardian UK article (by AS Byatt no less) to a new book out on the subject: Magpies, Squirrels and Thieves