Oct 9, 2007

Vertumnus and Pomona

Vertumnus and Pomona

c. 1776

Jean François Janinet

(French, 1752–1814)

after Antoine Coypel

(French, 1661–1722)

Color wash-manner etching and engraving with applied gold leaf

Sheet: 33.3 x 26.5 cm (13 1/8 x 10 7/16 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert D. Milne in memory of Leona E. Prasse 1987.90

Catalogue raisonné: Inventaire du Fonds Français 18 siècle 32



In 1774 Louis-Marin Bonnet developed yet another technical innovation: a printed gold leaf border. Janinet, who had been Bonnet's student, adopted this practice. However, because the use of gold leaf by printmakers was illegal (they were not among the trades officially allowed to use it), the two artists produced only about 20 prints with gold frames before they were caught by the authorities.
In classical mythology, Pomona was a nymph who grew fruit but did not allow men to enter her orchard. Vertumnus, a handsome young man, disguised himself as an old woman to gain entry. After telling Pomona stories of love, he removed his disguise and won her hand.

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