Nov 30, 2005

The Milk Woman

The Milk Woman


Louis-Marin Bonnet

(French, 1736-1793)

Color chalk-manner etching and engraving with applied gold-leaf

Support: Laid paper

Sheet: 31.8 x 24.7 cm (12 1/2 x 9 3/4 in.); Image: 28.3 x 23.3 cm (11 1/8 x 9 3/16 in.)

Carole W. and Charles B. Rosenblatt Endowment Fund 2003.50

Catalogue raisonné: Hérold 295



In his quest to emulate fashionable drawings for display, Bonnet developed a method for printing gold frames. After preparing the paper with printed layers of lead white and a red adhesive compound called a mordant, Bonnet hand-applied gold leaf, on top of which he printed ornamental patterns. Because French regulations restricted the use of gold to certain artisans, like furniture builders, Bonnet disguised these prints as English imports. He sold them from a shop called Au Magasin Anglois (From the English Shop) and even advertised the fictional name “Le. Marin” as the foreign inventor of the printed frames. For English-speakers, however, the odd spelling “ta-King” in the inscription for The Woman Taking Coffee betrays Bonnet.

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