8.5" x 10"
Young Woman, Seated
Lithograph, 1830 15.5" x 12"
Deveria was a painter, lithographer, and stained-glass designer. He was
a pupil of Louis Lafitte and specialized in illustration like his mentor.
Deveria produced over 3000 lithographs, most of which were published by
his father-in-law, Charles-Etienne Motte. Deveria is known for his "maniere
noire" (dark manner) lithography. This involves covering the stone with
broad hatchings of lithographic crayon, working it with a modeling tool
to push the crayon into the grain, then covering the stone with chalk dissolved
in turpentine, which creates an overall black tone. The light areas are
brought out by removing the coating with flannel, brushes, or scraping
tools. Later in his life he became Conservator of the Cabinet des Estampes
of Bibliotheque Nationale. This appointment showed the esteem that artist-lithographers
had attained at the time.
Most of his work consisted of "pseudo-historical, pious, sentimental or erotic scenes."(Wright) These new images fed the dreams of fantasy of the generation. He rarely depicted tragic or grave themes, therefore appearing less Romantic than many other artists of the time. Deveria was also known for his portraits of artists and writers, whom he entertained in his Paris studio on Rue de l'Ouest. Some of his sitters included Dumas, Walter Scott, David, Gericault, Victor Hugo, and Franz Liszt. Baudelaire commented that his portrait series showed "all the morals and aesthetics of the age".
The two Deveria prints in the Wake Forest Collection, Satisfaction and Young Woman Seated, both date from 1830. Satisfaction shows a woman lounging on a chase in a somewhat provocative pose, similar to the odalisques of nineteenth century art. The woman looks directly at the viewer and shows satisfaction in her half-smile as if awaiting a suitor, her hat and shoes lying on the floor below. An inscription on the border gives the date and publisher's name, Charles-Etienne Motte. Young Woman Seated is neither signed nor has any indication of ever being published. This woman is completely different than the one in Satisfaction. She wears a beautiful dress with many folds and layers as the wealthier women might have worn at the time. She sits uprights and turns her gaze away from the the viewer, in the more deferential pose commonly given to women in 19th century art.
Caroline Gray (May, 2001)