Rare selection of antique French hand-colored engravings from the 1800's beautifully presented in original antique or vintage framing materials. Purchased at an very fine antique shop years ago. Images are from the series 'Le Bon Genre' which was published over a long period of time, and was one of the many series masterminded by the great entrepreneur in this field, La Mésangère. Antique green and gold frames with moire silk and pink mat boards. Total area the artwork fills is 34.5" H x 31" W. Frames are 31 x 16 and 28.5 x 15.
"Le Bon Genre was one of the earliest series of prints to record the social trends and leisure activities of contemporary Parisians. It is the most important fashion portfolio of its time documenting, through its caricatures, the rise of the modern city of Paris and the emerging middle-class bourgeois, its fashions, recreations and dating customs. It also has fun at visitors' expense, particularly the English, whose customs and fashions the French found incomprehensible and unfashionable; the years of hostility between France and England did nothing to improve relations and the French lost few opportunities to ridicule the British.
Le Bon Genre's popularity influenced most of the later fashion illustrators and journals, as well as the satirical albums so typical of mid-19th century France, and remains a key record of French social history. Overall, Le Bon Genre bears witness to the colorful post-Revolution period of Parisian society as it evolves into the early Republican era."
The series is devoted to costume, mostly set in fashionable interiors, but the plates are treated in a semi-caricatural, humorous way that links them with French social satire. A few plates have the name of the engraver, and several also of the designers. The best evidence for the identity of the designers comes from an album of 39 original drawings, described by Colas under 2242, which gives the names of Garbizza, Dutailly, Garneray and Lanté. Colas elsewhere gives plates 50-6 to J.B.Isabey."
19th C. French Hand-Colored Engravings 'Le Bon Genre'