This late 18th-century engraving by French printmaker Robert Brichet (active 1775-90) is after a drawing by Joseph François von Götz (1754-1815) and formed part of ‘Exércices d'imagination de differens charactéres et formes’.
Joseph François von Götz was a lawyer, artist, illustrator, but primarily a careful observer of human behaviour. Upon the flourishing streets of Augsburg, Bavaria, he sketched its various colourful characters - from the bespectacled librarian, through to the flamboyant chevalier. Each figure gently satirised with a quiet noble wit.
Here, we see a pensive gentleman with hands clasped, perhaps immersed in a romantic tangle. Note the small sword, a fashionable addition rather than a dangerous weapon.
Famously, the first graphic novel is credited to the hand of von Götz. A series of 160 engravings describing his own play, Leonardo und Blandine (1783) - a melodramatic meandering of illicit love and murder.
Held in a contemporary glazed frame.
Learn more about Joseph François von Götz in our directory.
Medium: Engraving (red ink) on laid paper
Overall size: 11½” x 14½” / 30cm x 37cm
Year of creation: c. 1783
Condition: Artwork presents well with a few minor marks.