PIERRE QUENTIN CHEDEL (1705-1763)
FURTHER IMAGES COMING SHORTLY
Pen & ink with wash & watercolour, heightened with white
18.5 x 32 cm
Etched & published by the artist (unknown date);
A. Bourgeois, Pierre-Quentin Chêdel, graveur châlonnais du XVIIIe siècle, et son oeuvre..., Paris (1895), p.13
'Dans cette vue d'Embrasement de Troie, d'après Breughel d'Enfer, quel aspect bien rendu de terreur et de bouleversement de nature!' (Armand Borgeois)
Precious few drawings by Chedel exist today, most likely as many were simply preparatory sketches for his smaller illustrations, and the present sheet is therefore a remarkable demonstration of his skill as a draughtsman, which has hitherto only been known to us through his biographer Bourgeois' testament. Although Bourgeois noted that the present work is after Jan Brueghel the Younger, the only paintings of the subject by the artist that have been published show different compositions to this work and its related etching (and include vignettes of Aeneas fleeing the city to the lower parts of the pictures).
Chedel was born in Châlons-en-Champagne (formerly Châlons-sur-Marne), the son of a merchant and his wife, and was sent to Paris to study under the printmakers Lemoine and Laurent Cars. The former teacher placed a great emphasis on draughtsmanship, and one can see the effect of this early instruction in the present sheet, with its extremely fine detailing and eye for perspective.
After completing these studio apprenticeships, Chedel swiftly established himself as an etcher of the first order and a prolific one, and by the end of his career he had created more than 500 prints. He counted Boucher and Oudry among his close friends, the former having also studied under Lemoine.
Chedel would collaborate with his teacher Laurent Cars on the Théatre de Molière (creating decorations after Boucher's drawings), and with Nicholas Cochin the Elder in producing illustrations of La Fontaine's fables, after the drawings of Oudry. He also produced etchings after Watteau, Wouvermans, Adam Frans Van der Meulen, the Bibiena family, Bartholomeus Breenbergh, Ruysdael and the Teniers.