A painting by Léonard Defrance acquired by the Musée de Grenoble

Léonard Defrance (1735-1805)
Visit to the printing shop, c. 1784
Oil on panel - 47 x 64.5 cm
Grenoble, Musée
Photo : Galerie Terradès

6/11/09 – Acquisition – Grenoble, Musée – A Flemish painter born in Liège, Léonard de France was a genre painter, known notably for revolutionary scenes which might be compared to those of Louis-Léopold Boilly. He also specialized in workshop scenes, reproduced in minute detail and which constitute a fine record of trades and industry in the late 19th century.

The work acquired by the Musée de Grenoble from the Terradès Gallery in Paris represents a printing shop. On the right, there are some visitors looking at a composing-grill with the letters placed on it ready for the composition, and on the left, a worker is wielding a mallet to arrange the letters at the same height on a frame [1]. On the wall, several signs indicate the various publications : Histoire des deux Indes by Raynal, Histoire Naturelle by Buffon, Recueil des édits de Joseph II and L’Antiquité dévoilée par ses usages by Nicolas-Antoine Boulanger. A matching painting showing the printing room is held in a private collection.

Version française

Didier Rykner, vendredi 6 novembre 2009


[1] The technical description of the scene was provided by the Terradès Gallery’s leaflet.

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