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Vive le Roy

Auguste-Claude-Simon Le Grand

* 1765 in Paris † 1843 in Paris

Engraving and stipple after Louis-Philibert Debucourt. 33.6 x 36.1 cm.

Literature: Le Blanc 14. Fenaille 25 III. De Vinck 1759, first version. Superb, clear impression with large margins of the first version. Effective contrasts between light and dark even in the smallest detail. The print attests to the popularity that Louis XVI still enjoyed in the immediate aftermath of the storming of the Bastille. It alludes to the king's visit to Paris on 17th July 1789 where he met Bailly, the newly-appointed mayor of the city, who presented him with a tricolour cockade and the keys of the city - symbols of the people's victory over their king. At the time, the day was perceived as a sign of reconciliation between the people and Louis XVI, who appeared to endorse the revolutionary changes that had begun to re-shape the country. The plate was altered twice; first in 1794, to celebrate the decree acknowledging the existence of the Supreme Being (18 Floreal); then in 1794, to mark the impending peace with the Holy Roman Empire. On each occasion the plate underwent considerable modifications, the most notable being the suppression of Louis XVI's portrait. This plate, a fine example of the first version before all modifications, is a striking example of a work of art subject to the rapidly changing requirements of a politically volatile historical period.

Price on request


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