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Lot #2 - Nicolas-Martin Petit

  • Auction House:
    Deutscher and Hackett
  • Sale Name:
    Important Australian + International Art
  • Sale Date:
    28 Nov 2018 ~ 7pm (AEDT)
  • Lot #:
    2
  • Lot Description:
    Nicolas-Martin Petit
    (1777 – 1804, French)
    (Full–Length Portrait Of A Timorese Woman Holding Her Baby), August – November 1801
    pencil on laid paper; drawing squared-up in pencil
    329 x 216 mm (sheet)
    bears inscription upper right: No. 15 and five lines in sepia ink in Péron’s hand relating to the engraving process
  • Notes:
    An extremely fine pencil sketch of a nursing mother in Timor, with a particularly detailed depiction of the face and head. The child on her lap has been quickly sketched in, as has a spreading banana palm tree behind her. The first edition of the Baudin atlas of 1807 included only two Timorese portraits, that of the famous chief “Naba-Leba” (plate XXV) and of a woman called “Canda” in a bright red dress carrying water in two enormous pails suspended from a yoke (plate XXVI). The second edition added quite a lot more on Timorese life including four extra portraits, a Malay cavalryman on horseback (39), a Malay soldier (40), a “Malais Libre” (41), and a woman in a blue dress from the “Île de Rotti” (42). The present woman is conceivably (although not definitively) the original for the water-carrier named Canda, and if so, this would be one of those occasions when the engraver has really lost the fineness and subtlety of the original work. To date we have not discovered anything in any of the journals that would shed more light on this question. As with several other examples of Petit’s work in Le Havre this sketch has been neatly squared up and some secondary notes have been added, as part of the process of preparing the scene to be engraved. A technical note in sepia ink by Péron at the top shows that the drawing was being used in planning for engraved illustrations. From what is decipherable the note apparently concerns the need to reduce some of the proportions. Similar notes appear on drawings lots [3], [12] and [13].
  • Estimate:
    A$35,000 - 55,000
  • Realised Price:
    *****

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  • Category:
    Art

This Sale has been held and this item is no longer available. Details are provided for information purposes only.

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