Apr 18, 2008

Bacchanal, The Game of Leap Frog

Bacchanal, The Game of Leap Frog

c. 1785

Laurent Guyot

(French, 1756-)

after wax relief by Antoine-François Gérard

(French, 1760–1843)

designed by

Jean Guillaume Moitte

(French, 1746–1810)

Etching and aquatint on silk

Image: 17 x 39.4 cm (6 11/16 x 15 1/2 in.); Mounted: 20.3 x 45.1 cm (8 x 17 3/4 in.)

Gift of Friends of the Department of Prints and Drawings 2008.18



Although Guyot’s print presents the same bacchanal as Gérard’s wax relief, the scene is flipped horizontally because the process of printing reverses the image. The differences between the two versions—apparent in the smoke, the foliage of the tree, and the belt of the central leaping man—suggest that both craftsmen may have worked directly from Moitte’s original design. Guyot’s use of aquatint, which produces areas of continuous tone with subtle variations in light and shade, makes the print seem more like a drawing than a sculpture. By printing on silk instead of paper, Guyot enhanced the sensuousness and luminosity of the scene in a manner different than Gérard’s use of colored wax.

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