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An image of Marie Antoinette by Jean-François Janinet, after Jean-Baptiste-André Gautier-Dagoty

Jean-François Janinet

(France 1752 – 01 Nov 1814)

after Jean-Baptiste-André Gautier-Dagoty

(France 1740 – 1786)

Marie Antoinette
Media category
Materials used
colour etching and engraving, printed in yellow, blue, red and black inks from four plates

41.0 x 32.0 cm

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Purchased 2006
Accession number
Temporary exhibitions gallery
Further information

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.

Bibliography (4)

Victor I Carlson and John W Ittmann, Regency to Empire. French printmaking 1715-1814, 1984. 66

Margaret Morgan Grasselli, Colorful impressions: the printmaking revolution in eighteenth-century France, 2003. 39

Steve Meacham, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Portrait of Marie Antoinette is more than just a pretty face', Sydney, 07 Jun 2006, (colour illus.).

Baron Roger Portalis and Henri Béraldi, Les graveurs du dix-huitième siècle, Paris, 1880. no. 132

Exhibition history (2)

Old Europe: Prints & drawings from the collection 1500-1800, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 03 Jun 2006–06 Aug 2006

European prints and drawings 1500-1900, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Aug 2014–02 Nov 2014