- Museum number
Object: Brustbild des Dichters Molière (Portrait of Molière)
Series: Versuche auf Stein mit Pinsel und Schabeisen
Plate 1: portrait of the poet and actor Jean Baptiste Poquelin, called Molière, sitting at a desk and holding a pen in his right hand. 1850
Lithograph printed in two colours on chine collé
- Production date
Height: 213 millimetres
Width: 178 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Plate 1 of the series 'Versuche auf Stein mit Pinsel und Schabeisen' (Experiments on stone with brush and scraper), in which Menzel reached the summit of his achievement as a lithographer. Menzel drew directly on the stone with a brush, in ink an chalk. He first covered the grainy surface of the stone with a thin wash of lithographic ink and then scratched out forms and light areas with a scraper. Similar effects were achieved in engraving with the aid of a burnishing tool.
For a more detailed description of Menzel's sophisticated technique, see Kappstein: Der Künstlerische Steindruck, Berlin, 1910 and a letter from the artist to C.H. Arnold from 4 June 1852, which was published in Tschudi: Aus Menzels jungen Jahren.
According to Bock (p. 260), this portrait is not based on one particular image, but rather "a free interpretation, combining elements from engravings by Mignard, Bourdon and Coypel." The Hamburg exhibition catalogue suggests that an engraving by Etienne Fiquet was Menzel's most likely source (Hamburg 1982, p. 100). However, the Berlin catalogue points out that this etching is based on a reproductive print by Lépiciés after the painting by Charles-Antoine Coypels. (Adolph Menzel: Zeichnungen, Druckgraphik und illustrierte Bücher - Ein Bestandskatalog der Nationalgalerie, des Kupferstichkabinetts und der Kunstbibliohek Staatlicher Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin, 1984, p. 283 (BH.5.1)
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number