41.0 x 32.0cm
In the 1770s Janinet pioneered the technique of colour engraving by using multiple copper plates in red, blue, yellow and black. The image was built up by superimposing each colour separately, one on top of the other. This complicated method allowed him to reproduce the effects of watercolour washes or gouache drawings in his engravings, from which derives the term 'wash-manner' prints. In this portrait Janinet interpreted a full-length oil portrait of the queen by Jean-Baptiste-André Gautier Dagoty. The work was first engraved in 1776 by his brother Louis-Charles but the result was ridiculed in the press. Janient was then called in to make another print, which was far more successful both technically and artistically. The ornamental frame and the portrait are printed on two separate sheets: the portrait print was cut into an oval and then glued into the printed frame.
'Portrait of Marie Antoinette is more than just a pretty face' by Steve Meacham, The Sydney Morning Herald 07 Jun 2006, 07 Jun 2006, (colour illus.).
Margaret Morgan Grasselli, Colorful impressions: the printmaking revolution in eighteenth-century France, 2003. cat.no. 39
Victor I Carlson, John W Ittmann, Regency to Empire. French printmaking 1715-1814, 1984. cat.no. 66
Baron Roger Portalis, Henri Béraldi, Les graveurs du dix-huitième siècle, Paris, 1880. no. 132
Old Europe: Prints & drawings from the collection 1500-1800, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 03 Jun 2006–06 Aug 2006.