Tradesmen of Paris




Abraham Bosse (1602-1676), The Cries of Paris (or Tradesmen of Paris),  etching and engravings (eight from the set of 12), c. 1640-45. [With the name of the artist, publisher Le Blond and the French text below each illustration], only states, on old laid paper, 2 with partial Crown watermarks. In excellent condition, with thread margins just outside the plate mark, size c. 8 1/4  x 5 1/2 inches, archival window matting.

Provenance: Christopher Mendez, noted London printseller (and with his label on each of the mats).

A fine group of these charming and now-rarely encountered impressions.

Titles and References:

The Wood Carrier – Blum 1399, Duplessis 1342                                   bosse6

The Brandy Seller – Blum 1400, Duplessis 1343

Nightwatchman – B 1402, D 1345bosse7

Vinegar Seller – B 1405, D 1348

Oyster Seller – B 1406, D 1349

Pie Man – B 1407, D 1350

Street Musician – B 1408, D 1351

Blind Beggar – B 1409, D 1352

Printmaker and book-illustrator, Abraham Bosse is noted as one of the first to write a book on printmaking, called a Manual on Etching. He learned printmaking from Antwerp engraver Melchior Tavernier, and his first etchings, dating to about 1622, were influenced by Jacques Bellange; later he became a devoted follower of Jacques Callot.

Callot’s early prints were often engravings, and as he moved on to etching as a primary mode of printmaking he often tried to imitate the engraving line using the etching technique. Bosse did the same, and that’s evident in his Tradesmen prints, which have the appearance of engravings. Bosse also followed Callot in focusing his central character in relatively large scale, but including detailed contextual features – rural farms and villages, and city squares and markets – as background.