Lot #17285

3 Portrait Engravings By Claude Mellan

estimate: $1000 - $1500

starting price: $200

closing price: $

technique: Engraving
Dimension: NULL
condition: Stains and creases.

Claude Mellan (23 May 1598 – 9 September 1688) was a French draughtsman, engraver, and painter. Mellan was born in Abbeville, the son of a customs official. In 1624 Mellan went to Rome, where he studied engraving for a brief time with Francesco Villamena. In 1637, after a period of time in Aix-en-Provence with Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, he returned to Paris, where he adopted an idiosyncratic technique, in which, instead of creating shade by cross-hatching, he used a system of parallel lines, regulating tone by varying their breadth and closeness. During this later period in Paris, Mellan mostly engraved his own work. He was much sought after as a portrait artist, drawing from life and engraving the portraits. Among his subjects were members of the royal family of Bourbon. His drawings "reveal more variety of style and execution than he showed in the engravings." Two examples, for which both a drawing (Nationalmuseum, Stockholm) and an engraving exist, are portraits of Marie-Louise de Gonzague-Nevers (Préaud no. 167) and Henri de Savoie, Duc de Nemours. Anatole de Montaiglon catalogued 4 engravings by Mellan, and about 1 drawings are known. The latter are mostly in the Stockholm Nationalmuseum (via the collection of Carl Gustav Tessin) and the Hermitage, Saint Petersburg (via the Cobenzl collection).Several of Mellan's lost paintings are known from his engravings of them, including Samson and Delilah (Préaud no. 5) and Saint John the Baptist in the Desert (Préaud no. 84). He died in Paris.