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L'Attente by Ernest Meissonier Antique French Lithograph Postcard from Polish Count's Collection
This is one of several "postcards" I have from the collection of Count Benedict Tyszkiewicz (1852-1935). He was of Polish-Lithuanian nobility and a famous photographer in his own right. He lived in Paris and was a member of the Paris Photo Club and the French Photographical Society. He was also a well-known art collector as well as a patron of the arts. From what I can deduce, his cards were not the mass-produced kind but specialty printings by fine art publishers in Paris. Hence, no "carte postale" design with the divided line, the stamp square, etc. Once you have the card in hand, you'll notice the quality of paper used. Definitely not typical cardstock. This miniature work of art is a copy of "L'Attente" (Waiting) painted by Ernest Meissonier in 1857. Meissonier (1815 –1891) was a French Classicist painter and sculptor. He was a rare breed: an artist who was paid well and who was well known during his life time. He was famous for his depictions of Napoleon, his armies and military themes. The original painting of "L'Attente" was sold for 15,000 francs in 1893 after his death. At one time it was hanging at the Museum of Luxembourg, but I'm not sure where it is now, possibly at The Château de Compiègne's Museum of the Second Empire, according to online sources. What is the man waiting for, staring out the window? His sword and a glass of wine are on a table covered with a Turkish rug. Please note that the postcard looks brighter/lighter in the photo because it was taken under a lamp. For true colors, consider the direct scan. I like to include a photo, even if the colors are accurate, because often other details pop out that you don't see in the scan. Size: about 3.5 by 5.5 inches. Slight wear at the corner tips; signs of soiling/ink smudges in the white border. But overall heart of the image, the art itself is well preserved!
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