Copperplate engravings


 L’occupation & Le Levee

Measurements: 49.5 x 29,5 cm
Date 1774
Origin Paris, France
Engavers: Romanet and Lingee
Genre: French costumes

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Two antique engravings, “Le Lever” by: Romanet after Freudenberg and ” L’ occupation”, Lingee after Freudenberg, 1770-1780.

These copper plate engravings are part of a suite of several prints, called: “Monument du Costume Physique et Moral de la fin du Dix-huitième siècle”. This 18th century series was meant to educate people about the fashion, manners and morals of the wealthy.

1. Le Lever, Romanet after Freudenberg. Le lever is an etching after Sigmund Freudenberg, (Swiss) by Romanet. This antique print is depicting the French high society ritual of getting up or rising “Le Lever”, The rising tradition was a very peculiar routine that evolved out of manors that were introduced by the French nobility and reigns. These traditions were then copied (top down) by the Nouveau Riche and other people of wealth, to accentuate  their close relations to even higher circles. The Lever tradition meant that visitors, (often people that had some kind of business to discuss) could visit the person of fame and wealth at their house while they were getting dressed in the morning. They were often clothed by maids. For the person having the Lever reception at their house, this could take several hours up to the point where people would stay in bed for a whole morning for the time of the “Lever”. Sometimes they had to go bed again, and get dressed all over for an extended “Lever”.

For people attending the “Lever”, it was a privilege to attend this posh reception. Because of the intimate setting, attending meant you was part of the close inner circle of that person. This was the reason that people were queuing at the door to the point that the Lever was getting very unpractical. This is one of engravings about the customs and rituals that Freudenberg, painter and engraver produced for publisher Prault, Francois. The plates were not a big success because Freudenberg had no knowledge of the French high society customs. At one point, (1773) Freudenberg disappeared altogether, never finishing the series. Some of these plates are finished by others. The plate measures: 49.5 x 29,5 cm. and is printed on laid paper. Plate marks from the etching process are visible outside the margins. A lovely plate, well preserved for its age. Dated around 1770-1780.

2. L’ occupation, Lingee after Freudenberg In the lower left corner it reads: I. H. E. inv. S. Freudenberg del. In the right corner it reads: Lingee sculp. In the middle there is also an address in Paris and the date: 1774. In a good condition for its age. there is some yellowing that comes with age.  On this plate we see a comfortable interior with an aristocratic woman sitting at a tambout for embroidery and touching the fabric of a young man’s waistcoat. The plate has some hand colored accents that could be filled in at a later point.

Additional information

Weight 0.370 kg
Dimensions 49.5 × 29.5 × 2 cm