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Design

  • Place of origin:

    London, England (etched)

  • Date:

    1736 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Gaetano Brunetti (designer)
    Henry Fletcher (etcher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etching, ink on paper

  • Museum number:

    20329:8

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, room 53b, case 2

  • Download image

Object Type
This print is an etching. The etching process involves using acid to bite lines in a metal printing plate. The lines on the plate are filled with ink, which is then printed onto paper. It is also an ornament print, meaning that the designer or printmaker especially intended to appeal to craftsmen and women who might find it a useful source for things they were making. This is clear from the title of the book from which this print comes: Sixty Different Sorts of Ornaments ... Very useful to painters, sculptors, stone carvers, wood carvers, silversmiths etc, which was published in 1736. This is one of six plates of furniture designs in the book.

Subject Depicted
The printmaker responsible for this etching, Henry Fletcher (active 1715-1738), has combined three designs by Gaetano Brunetti (active 1731-1758) on one plate. Only the right half of a picture frame is illustrated (which would simply be copied in mirror image by anyone making a complete frame). Atop the frame is a design for a cartouche. Fletcher has used the remaining blank left half, and the blank centre of the frame, for the design for a high-backed, throne-like chair. Brunetti has used some of the typical elements of Rococo design, such as scrolls, trailing sprays of flowers and scallop shells.

Influence
The set of prints from which this one comes had a major impact on British design. Makers of silver, furniture, ceramics, tomb sculpture and trade cards drew on them for inspiration. At least one architect did too - James Paine (1717-1789), who reproduced the cartouche on the pediment of the Mansion House in Doncaster, West Yorkshire, which he built in 1745-1748.

Place of Origin

London, England (etched)

Date

1736 (made)

Artist/maker

Gaetano Brunetti (designer)
Henry Fletcher (etcher)

Materials and Techniques

Etching, ink on paper

Dimensions

Height: 16.6 cm, Width: 11.5 cm

Object history note

Designed by Gaetano Brunetti (born in Lombardy, Italy, active 1731, died in Paris, 1758); etched in London by Henry Fletcher (active 1715-1738)

Descriptive line

Designs for a chair and a picture frame, designed by Gaetano Brunetti and etched in London by Henry Fletcher, 1736

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Snodin, Michael (ed.), assisted by Elspeth Moncrieff, Rococo: Art and Design in Hogarth’s England (exh. cat.: The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 16 May – 30 September 1984), 38.
The following is the full text from the publication:

"B11 Designs for a chair, a picture frame and a cartouche
Henry Fletcher (active 1715-1738)
After Gaetano Brunetti (active 1731, d. 1758).
1736-7
Etchings; 166 x 115; 165 x 111 (cut)
Each lettered with a publication line dated 25 June 1736 and G. Brunetti inv. et del. N. Fletcher Sculp.
VAM (20329.8; E.295-1897)

From Brunetti’s Sixty Different Sorts of Ornaments… Very useful to painters, sculptors, stone-carvers, wood-carvers, silversmiths, etc. (61 plates and title-page, engraved by Fletcher and Jean Rocque). The publication proposal was advertised in 1736 (Daily Gazetteer, 28 June); the suites were delivered to subscribers in 1737 (Daily Post, 16 May). Some plates are dated February 1737 within the design. This single cartouche was copied, with several others from the suite, by Augustin Heckel (see Cat. H2) and by James Paine on the pediment of the Doncaster Mansion House, 1745-8 (Cat. M2) Other plates were used for a Dublin silver coffee-pot of 1737 (Ashmolean Museum), and in later contexts (Cat. B13). The suite appears in Rocque’s list of publications dated 1742. J.M. Rysbrack’s copy is at the Avery Library, New York (information from Peter Fuhring). Most of the plates are based on mural decoration (the Daily Gazetteer connected them with Brunetti’s painting at the town houses of the Duke of Tankerville and other houses), but there are six plates of furniture designs. As in the present case, they are very reminiscent of contemporary Italian examples. A chair in a very similar plate from the suite was copied for Cat. B12. Brunetti, a Lombard, whose earliest English mural decoration was carried out 1730-31, worked in the north Italian style of quadratura. In 1739 he left England for Paris, where he died. Drawings for the suite are at Waddesdon Manor and the Ecole des beaux Arts, paris.

Lit: Berlin 1939, 587; Croft-Murray 1970, 176; Ward-Jackson 1958, 27
MS"

Labels and date

British Galleries:
These prints are from the first British pattern book to include Rococo motifs. Gaetano Brunetti was an Italian decorative painter. The strong asymmetrical arrangement of motifs is typical of Rococo. [27/03/2003]

Production Note

Plates from 'Sixty Different Sorts of Ornaments'

Subjects depicted

Chairs; Frames (furnishings)

Categories

Prints; Designs; Printed pages & sheets

Collection code

PDP

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Qr_O77468
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