Paris: 1824. Louis-Leopold Boilly.
[COSTUME]. FAMOUS 1824 BOUILLY CARICATURE OF “LES MOUSTACHES”.
Colored lithograph by Delpech after drawing by Boilly, published in Paris, 1824; 10 1/8 x 8 1/8 in. (view), conservation-matted with UV glazing within 18 ¼ x 16 ¼ in. frame (not examined outside of frame). Louis-Leopold Boilly (1761-1845) was a gifted French portrait and genre painter, who became famous with his expressive depictions of caricature. This hand-colored lithograph was part of the series Recueil de grimaces (A Collection of Grimaces) published between 1823 and 1828. The works began as studies of expression, but the artist soon expanded the series to parody the social types ranging from beggars to lawyers and art collectors. Boilly’s Grimaces were created and sold in separate sheets rather than bound or in portfolio and are usually not recorded in databases. While these prints were extremely popular, complete sets of the 96 prints are extremely rare with only two currently known in institutional collections. This view, “les Moustaches”, was one of the most popular of the series and features three mustachioed and uniformed veterans, all grenadiers and formerly of Napoleon’s Grand Army. One confronts and attempts to remove the “lip beard” from a young man who has also taken to growing facial hair, the newest rage among the fashionable set. The previous decade, mustaches were rarely sported by any but military men and by long tradition, was an unofficial emblem of the elite grenadiers.Item #32