Dec 11, 2008

The Rape of Europa

The Rape of Europa


Nicolas LeSueur

(French, 1691–1764)

Chiaroscuro woodcut

Mr. and Mrs. Charles G. Prasse Collection 1965.69

Catalogue raisonné: Le Blanc 20



Whereas in the 16th and 17th centuries chiaroscuro woodcuts were the artist's original conception or copies of contemporaneous designs, in the 18th century the technique often served to replicate the most famous masterworks of the past, especially of 16th-century Italy. During the 1700s, chiaroscuro woodcuts were directly connected to famous art collections and depended on the support of wealthy patrons. Le Sueur produced numerous chiaroscuros for the Cabinet Crozat, two volumes published in 1729 and 1742 by Count Anne Claude Philippe de Caylus and Pierre Crozat. The books reproduced famous paintings and drawings in French collections. For most of Le Sueur's chiaroscuros for this project, the black lines were printed from etched metal plates prepared by others, instead of from a woodblock. However, he did cut all four blocks for The Rape of Europa himself.

See also
PR - Chiaroscuro
Type of artwork: 

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