The well-beloved mother
22 Aug 1740 - 16 Mar 1822
after Jean-Baptiste Greuze
1725 - 1805
This rare print has particular value to the Gallery: it is closely connected with the Gallery's Greuze drawing 'The well-beloved mother' c.1770 which was presented by James Fairfax in 1999. This drawing is the model for the engraving. We know from archival documents that in 1772 Greuze signed an agreement with the engraver Massard to produce the print, although it was not published until 1775. Greuze insisted that the engraver not 'interpret' his drawing but copy it precisely and to size. This explains why the engraving and the drawing look nearly identical. As required by Massard's agreement, surviving impressions of the print bear on the verso the signatures of both the engaver and the painter.
The beloved mother
La mère bien aimée
54.3 x 66.0 cm sheet (trimmed within platemark)
Signature & date
Signed l.l. verso, pen and brown ink "Greuze" and l.l. verso, pen and brown ink "Massard". Not dated.
Annette Margaret Dupree Bequest Fund 2003
Not on display
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Greuze the Draftsman:
- The Frick Collection, New York 14 May 2002–04 Aug 2002
- The J. Paul Getty Museum, United States of America 10 Sep 2002–01 Dec 2002
Old Europe: Prints & drawings from the collection 1500-1800, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 03 Jun 2006–06 Aug 2006
Masters of emotion: exploring the emotions from the old masters to the present, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Mornington, 20 Apr 2007–24 Jun 2007
Referenced in 5 publications
Richard Beresford and Peter Raissis, The James Fairfax collection of old master paintings, drawings and prints, Sydney, 2003, 93 (illus.). under cat.no. 24, fig. 24.2
Alison P. Coudert, A cultural history of childhood and family in the age of enlightenment, 'Faith and religion', pg.147-164, 2010, 162, 163 (illus.). fig.8.3
Edgar Munhall, Greuze the Draftsman, London, 2002, 200 (illus.). figs. 170, 171
Irena Zdanowicz, Masters of emotion, Mornington, 2007, 49. cat.no. 20
Art Gallery of New South Wales annual report 2003 [for the year ended 30 June 2003], 'Year in review', pg.14-35, Sydney, 2003, 18, 19 (illus.).