Le Manège by Thomas Major after Philips Wouvermans


Rare engraving entitled, Le Manège. Dedie a Messire Marc-Rene de Voyer Marquis d’Argenson, Marechal the Camp des Arnees du Roy, Lieutenant General de la Province d’Alsace, Governor de Romorantin.Tire de son Cabinet; the Grave de la meme grandeur que l’original Parson tres-humble et tre Obeissant Serviteur T. Major, by Thomas Major after a painting by Philip Wouvermans The print appeared c. 1750 in London with l’Auteur Engraver de S.A.R. Frederic Prince de Galles, a la Tete d’or dance West Street. The image is 51.5 x 45.5 cm in size (excluding text). The sheet is 57 x 45.5 cm in size. The print is in reasonable condition with a sharp horizontal fold in the middle. The print will be delivered in a passe partout.

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Thomas Major (1720 – 30 December 1799) was an English engraver. His early career was in Paris. In England, he became engraver to Frederick, Prince of Wales; he was the first engraver recognized by the Royal Academy of Arts, and was chief seal engraver to the King. Major studied drawing and etching under Hubert Gravelot. In 1745 he moved to Paris, where he associated with the English engravers Andrew Lawrence and John Ingram, and was a pupil of Jacques-Philippe Le Bas and Charles-Nicolas Cochin. In October 1746 he was imprisoned in the Bastille with other Englishmen, as a reprisal for the imprisonment of French and Irish soldiers after the Battle of Culloden. He was released through the intervention of the French Foreign Minister, the Marquis d’Argenson. On the death of Andrew Lawrence in 1747, Major purchased his copper plates. He returned to England in 1748, and sold to Arthur Pond some prints he had brought from Paris. He acted as agent for Le Bas, importing prints. He married Dorothy, and they had sixteen children between 1752 and 1771. Major engraved a number of plates after Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem, Teniers, Wouwerman, Claude Lorrain, and other masters; and produced many more of the same character which he published himself in St Martin’s Lane. He became engraver to Frederick, Prince of Wales. In 1753 he was able, through the patronage of the Duke of Cumberland, to import Andrew Lawrence’s plates bought in Paris, and he completed Lawrence’s The Death of the Stag, after Philips Wouwerman. Under the Duke of Cumberland’s patronage, he engraved the views for The Ruins of Palmyra (1753) and The Ruins of Baalbec (1757). In 1754 Major issued a catalogue of his prints, entitled Recueil d’Estampes gravées d’après les meilleurs tableaux des grands maîtres dont on a fait choix dans les cabinets les plus célèbres d’Angleterre et de France, and in 1768 a second catalogue appeared. Copies of some of Major’s plates, bearing the name Jorma (anagram of Major), were published in Paris by Pierre-François Basan.  He engraved a few portraits, including a series of four of Earl Granville, his two wives and his sister-in-law Lady Charlotte Finch, dated 1755 and 1757. In 1768 he published The Ruins of Paestum, otherwise Posidonia, in Magna Graecia, illustrated with plates; this was translated into French in 1769 and German in 1781. (Paestum was an archaeological site often visited by people on the Grand Tour.) Major was the first English engraver to receive the honours of the Royal Academy of Arts, being elected Associate Engraver on 26 February 1770. In 1776 he exhibited at the Academy The Good Shepherd, after Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. He became chief seal engraver to the King, and was from 1756 to 1797 engraver to the Stamp Office. When the Great Seal was stolen from the house of Lord Chancellor Edward Thurlow on 24 March 1784, Major, within twenty hours, provided a perfect temporary substitute, and afterwards executed one in silver, which was used until the union with Ireland. Major died at his home in Tavistock Row, Westminster, on 30 December 1799, and was buried at St Giles’ Church, Camberwell.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Major

Philips Wouwerman (also Wouwermans) (24 May 1619 (baptized) – 19 May 1668) was a Dutch painter of hunting, landscape and battle scenes. Philips Wouwerman was one of the most versatile and prolific artists of the Dutch Golden Age. Embedded in the artistic environment and tradition of his home town of Haarlem, Wouwerman made an important and highly influential contribution to the canon of seventeenth-century Dutch painting. His pictures were in demand during his lifetime, and even more sought after in the 18th century. Throughout Europe, formerly princely art collections like in Dresden and St. Petersburg still bear witness to this widespread admiration of Wouwerman’s art. Born in Haarlem in 1619, the son of a now altogether obscure painter named Pouwels Joostsz. Wouwerman, little is known about the artistic schooling of Wouwerman. According to Cornelis de Bie, he studied with Frans Hals (1581/85–1666), but the particular style of Hals didn’t leave a footmark on his oeuvre. Apart from a short stay in Hamburg at the end of the 1630s, Wouwerman seemed to have lived in Haarlem during his whole artistic career and died as a prosperous member of the community at the age of 48. He joined the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke in 1640 and here took on several official posts in the years to come. Wouwerman started his artistic career with simple depictions of everyday life in the tradition of the bamboccianti by Pieter van Laer (1592/99–after 1642). His paintings of the mid-1640s often feature a diagonal slope of land, a tree which functions as a repoussoir, and figures accompanied by horses. Over the next thirty years he developed an individual style, treating a wide range of subjects from genre and landscape to military and religious scenes (equestrian scenes, hunting and hawking parties, landscapes with travellers, cavalry battles and military encampments, peasants festivities etc.). He is noted for his skill in the depiction of horses of all breeds seen in motion. The art historian Frederik J. Duparc calls Wouwerman “undoubtedly the most accomplished and successful 17th-century Dutch painter of horses”. The masterpieces from his best period (around 1650–1660) are of indisputably high quality, beautifully combining imaginary southern landscapes and a typically Dutch atmosphere. Wouwerman’s paintings are characterized by subdued colours, a cool atmosphere and a wealth of witty, anecdotal details. He died in Haarlem.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philips_Wouwerman


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