A rare pair of extraordinary silhouettes from Edouart's 19th century personal book of genre silhouettes. On page 41 of her book "Silhouettes: A History and Dictionary of Artists", Emily Nevill Jackson (Mrs. F. Nevill Jackson) refers to this outstanding folio, "I have Edouart's Album of subject pictures in little, besides ten volumes of his named and dated portraits containing 12,000 portraits." These silhouettes show the absolute mastery of Augustin Edouart's work. The piece on the left is titled "The Castle Gate". It shows two French cuirassier soldiers guarding a castle from horseback. The piece on the right is titled "The Courier" and features a French cuirassier soldier riding his horse to courier a message. The watercolor background includes a low overhanging tree under which the horse jumps a felled fence or trees. The extraordinary cut work on both of these works of art include the tiniest details such as multiple reins, tiny spurs, feathered headdresses, individual hairs from the horses tails and the most delicate of hooves. The figures are only 3" tall (much smaller than the profiles Edouart cut for clients) and lovely watercolor backgrounds are painted in sepia tones. The sight size of the silhouettes are 7 5/8" x 7 3/4" (The Castle Gate) and 7 1/2" square (The Courier). The back of the original backing paper of each silhouette has Mrs. Jackson's pencil written notes. The Castle Gate is labeled "A" and "Page 24 from August Edouart's/Book of Pictures/Cutting by Edouart/Background by G.F.S./E. N. Jackson". The bottom right corner has Mrs. Jackson' s number "8395". The back of The Courier is labeled "B" and "Page 42 from August Edouart's/Volume of Pictures Treatise/Cutting by Edouart/Background by". Mrs. Jackson did not name the background artist for this silhouette although it was likely the same "G.F.S." of the other. The bottom right corner of this verso also has the number "8395" in Mrs. Jackson's handwriting. These silhouettes are very similar in subject matter and detail as "Skirmish of Cavalry", Plate No. 11 from Edouart's "A Treatise on Silhouette Likenesses". Framed in well-figured bird's eye maple frames measuring 12 3/4" x 12 1/2" with gilt liners and early glass on both the front and backs so you can see Mrs. Jackson's writing. Circa 1832-1836. As with all silhouettes from Edouart's folios, these are not signed. This is a chance in a lifetime to own silhouettes Edouart made for his own pleasure and to show the full extent of his mastery of the art to potential clients.
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