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Print - Jacques de Falaise le Polyphage
  • Jacques de Falaise le Polyphage
    La Mésangère, Pierre Antoine Leboux de la, born 1761 - died 1830
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Jacques de Falaise le Polyphage

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (Published)

  • Date:

    1817 (Published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    La Mésangère, Pierre Antoine Leboux de la, born 1761 - died 1830 (Publisher)
    Gatine, Georges Jacques (engraver)
    Lanté, Louis-Marie, born 1789 (artist)
    Maison Martinet

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printing ink and watercolour on paper

  • Museum number:

    S.250-2018

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This was originally published by Pierre Joseph Antoine de la Mésangère (1761-1830), better known by the name of Le Mésangère, as plate number 93 in Le Bon Genre, in his first edition of hand-coloured engravings showing French life and fashion, published in 1817 .

The performer known as Jacques de Falaise le Polyphage is shown here about to eat a live mouse and small snake, while fashionably-dressed ladies look on. Prints of entertainers published in Le Bon Genre were images of performers who would have been well known in Paris at the time and who could be seen for an entrance fee in exhibition halls and theatres. This performer made his name by eating all sorts of things including live sparrows, watches, and roses complete with leaves and thorns. He is recorded as performing at one stage in a basement under the Hôtel des Fermes, Rue de Grenelle Saint-Honoré, where the ventriloquist and magician Louis Christian Emmanuel Comte established an exhibition space in 1814. After the Indian jugglers and sword-swallowers came to Paris. Jacques de Falaise also swallowed a sword, such as the one held by his assistant in this print. His soubriquet 'Le Polyphage' meant that he was 'polyphagous, a word that is used to refer to an animal that can eat various types of food.

Physical description

Hand-coloured etching showing a grey-haired man standing on a rostrum about to eat a live mouse, holding a small snake in his left hand. His assistant is holding a rapier in his left hand whilst showing some roses to three fashionably-dressed ladies who are watching the performance, two seated on a bench, one with her shawl draped across her lap, another holding her bonnet, and the third standing, her reticule suspended from her right arm. Titled in the margin below: 'Jacques de Falaise le Polyphage' and above: 'Le Bon Genre No.93'

Place of Origin

Paris (Published)

Date

1817 (Published)

Artist/maker

La Mésangère, Pierre Antoine Leboux de la, born 1761 - died 1830 (Publisher)
Gatine, Georges Jacques (engraver)
Lanté, Louis-Marie, born 1789 (artist)
Maison Martinet

Materials and Techniques

Printing ink and watercolour on paper

Dimensions

Height: 24.5 cm, Width: 30.7 cm

Descriptive line

Hand-coloured lithograph titled Jacques de Falaise le Polyphage. Plate No. 93 from an edition of Le Bon Genre, Observations sur les Modes et les Usages de Paris published in Paris by Maison Martinet, originally published in 1817 by Pierre de la Mésangère (1761-1830)

Materials

Printing ink; Water-colour; Paper

Techniques

Etching; Printing; Painting

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Illustration; Prints; Fashion

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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