Detail from the Healing of the Lame Man, engraved by Anthony Cardon after a drawing by Nicolas Joseph Ruyssen, published 10 August 1801 (print [14]; matrice 690 × 515 mm) View larger
Detail from the Healing of the Lame Man, engraved by Anthony Cardon after a drawing by Nicolas Joseph Ruyssen, published 10 August 1801 (print [14]; matrice 690 × 515 mm)
Ruyssen (Nicolas Joseph), 1757-1826

Essays after the Cartoons of Raphael at Windsor Drawn by the gracious Permission of His Majesty and by Permission most humbly Inscribed to Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain By Her Majesty’s most Grateful Devoted Servant J. Ruyssen

London, Joseph Ruyssen, [plates dated 1798-1801]
Extremely rare set of fifteen prints reproducing in actual size heads in Raphael’s cartoons for the Sistine Chapel tapestry series “The Acts of the Apostles”. The prints were engraved by Antoine Cardon after drawings made by Nicolas Joseph Ruyssen, and issued in three fascicules dated 1798, 1800, and 1801. As heads in only six of the seven cartoons are engraved, the intention was probably to produce further prints.
Subjects
Book illustration - Reproductive printmaking - Raphael, 1483-1520
Prints - Artists, Dutch & Flemish - Cardon (Antoine), 1772-1813
Authors/Creators
Ruyssen, Nicolas Joseph, 1757-1826
Artists/Illustrators
Cardon, Antoine, 1772-1813
Raphael, 1483-1520
Ruyssen, Nicolas Joseph, 1757-1826
Printers/Publishers
Ruyssen, Nicolas Joseph, 1757-1826
Owners
Mansfield and Mansfield, Earls of (Scone Palace library)

Raphael
Urbino 1483 – 1520 Rome

Essays after the Cartoons of Raphael at Windsor Drawn by the gracious Permission of His Majesty and by Permission most humbly Inscribed to Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain By Her Majesty’s most Grateful Devoted Servant J. Ruyssen.

London, Joseph Ruyssen, [plates dated 1798–1801]

broadsheets (695/710 × 530 mm), (16) ff., comprising engraved calligraphic title (matrice 595 × 455 mm, with lettering transcribed above and legends Drawn from Raphael’s Cartoons at Windsor by Jos. Ruyssen | Engraved by Anth.y Cardon | Tomkins Scrip.tVincent Scup.t | No. 1) and fifteen unnum­bered engraved plates of heads by Anthony Cardon after Nicolas-Joseph Ruyssen.

paper wove paper watermarked ‘J Whatman 1794’ (date not visible in prints [6], [7], [10], [14], [15])

With (as usual) an engraved self-portrait of Raphael (matrice 615 × 470 mm, sheet 710 × 530 mm), by Cardon after Ruyssen, lettered Raphäel d’ Urbino | Hic situs est – Raphael timuit quo sospite vinci | Rerum magna Parens, quo moriente, mori [Pietro Bembo’s epitaph for Raphael] | Painted by himself | Drawn by J. Ruyssen from the Original at Roehampton in the Possession of the Earl of Bes[s]borough | Engraved by Anth.y Cardon, with publication line London, Published January 1, 1800, by Joseph Ruyssen.

provenance Earls of Mansfield and Mansfield, Scone Palace, Perthshire — Christie’s, ‘Scone Palace & Blairquhan: The Selected Contents of Two Great Scottish Houses’, London, 24 May 2007, lot 330

Title slightly marked and creased, occasional spotting or marking, one plate ([8]) with short tear in margin, another ([12]) with tear extending into image (both repaired without loss), otherwise in excel­lent state of preservation.

binding contemporary English half-calf over marbled boards, the flat decorated in gilt, and lettered Cartoons at Windsor by J. Ruyssen.

Extremely rare set of fifteen prints reproducing in actual size heads in Raphael’s cartoons for the Sistine Chapel tapestry series ‘The Acts of the Apostles’. There is no copy in Charles Ruland’s catalogue of the Raphael collection in the Royal Library at Windsor (1876), and an exhaustive search has located just two copies in public collections worldwide.

Print [7] Detail from the Healing of the Lame Man, engraved by Cardon after a drawing by Ruyssen, published 1 January 1800 (matrice 595 × 485 mm)
Print [14] Detail from the Healing of the Lame Man, engraved by Cardon after a drawing by Ruyssen, published 10 August 1801(matrice 690 × 515 mm

Acquired by the British royal collections in 1623, initially displayed in Whitehall, then at Hampton Court, and Buckingham House, the Raphael cartoons were taken in 1787–1788 to Windsor, where they were displayed around the Castle, and possibly also at Frogmore (the Queen’s House). By this date the Cartoons had become emphasized in England as Raphael’s best work and as ideal models for students of art to imitate.1

Our prints were engraved by Anthony Cardon after drawings made by Nicolas-Joseph Ruyssen, and were issued in three fascicules dated 1798, 1800, and 1801.2 As heads in only six of the seven cartoons are engraved, the intention was probably to produce further prints.

The draughtsman, Nicolas Joseph Ruyssen (1757–1826), was born at Hazebrouck (near Calais), and attended the L’École des Beaux-Arts de Saint-Omer, where he caught the attention of Anne Léon de Montmorency, prince de Rebecq, who brought him to Paris, and financed further study in Italy. Ruyssen was in Italy ‘for several years’3 according to his own account, for seven years according to another;4 he evidently was still in Rome in 1790.5 He is reported to have arrived in England via Holland in 1793. At some later, as yet unknown date, he found employment as drawing-master to the daughters of George iii and Queen Charlotte. Several artists were in service to the royal family at this time, including Biagio Rebecca (1735–1808) and Peltro William Tomkins (1760–1840), both teaching etching in addition to drawing.6 Like their predecessors, they set their pupils the task of copying (sometimes by tracing) old master drawings and prints in the royal collection, by Leonardo, Giulio Clovio, Stefano della Bella, Piazzetta, Marco Ricci, Gainsborough, Ridinger, Berchem, John Hamilton Mortimer, and Benjamin West, among others.7

In the words of a contemporary, Ruyssen ‘was no courtier; he was one of those blunt, hon­est worthies, whom no court could polish, and no favour could spoil’, whose specialty was drawing heads, hands, and feet on a large scale in black chalk.8 His drawing technique employed a variety of instruments, including a compass.9

Ruysson’s collaborator, the printmaker, Anthony Cardon (1772–1813), had entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1792, won a silver medal in 1794, and obtained the same year a commission to engrave (under the direction of Luigi Schiavonetti) the ‘Cries of London’ after Francis Wheatley.10 Cardon is best-known by his stipple-engraved portraits; his prints after Ruyssen gained him no celebrity, and they are all but forgotten by print historians.

The suspension of work on this project in 1801 suggests that Ruyssen had left royal employment.11 His activities in England thereafter are little documented: he perhaps tutored the children of David Gordon (1753–1831) and his wife Anne, of Abergeldie Castle, Ballater, Aberdeenshire, whom he painted circa 1804;12 in 1810 he was instructing an unspecified aunt (‘Miss Basset’) of The Hon. Frances Basset (1751–1855).13 In 1814 Ruyssen was again working in Hazebrouck, where from 1819–1825 he operated a school.

The two copies known are

● London, National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum, shelfmark 110 L. 30 ● New Haven, Yale University, British Art Center, shelfmark L 211.3192 (Folio B)

The copy in the National Art Library, like ours, contains fifteen plates, issued 1798–1801, together with Cardon’s engraving (after Ruyssen’s drawing) of Raphael’s so-called self-portrait (in fact, a portrait of Bindo Altoviti), then in the Bessborough collection.14 The copy at Yale was bound for the second daughter of George iii, Princess Augusta Sophia (1768–1840), in two volumes: the first contains the six prints dated 1798; and the second the ‘portrait’-frontispiece and the six plates dated 1800 (the three prints dated 1801 are not present).

Two other presentation copies cannot now be traced: one was once in the library of the second son of George iii, Frederick Augustus, Duke of York (1763–1827), and was sold in 1827; 15 the other was in the library of the fifth son of George iii, Ernst Augustus, Duke of Cumberland (1771–1851), descended to his only son, George v, King of Hannover (1819–1878), and was sold in 1970.16 Other copies of the complete work, also now unlocated, were in the Merly Library, sold in 1813;17 in the library of Caroline de Bourbon-Siciles, duchesse de Berry, sold in 1837;18 in the library of Sir William Heathcote;19 and in the possession of Ruyssen’s heirs, in 1851.20 A single fascicule (six prints) is contained in a print album assembled by Richard Fitzwilliam, 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam (Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, Acc. No. 40.10). A single fascicule, bound in red leather, with the cypher of Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, consort of George iii, on covers, was seen in the market in 2013;21 another, bound in contemporary boards, its upper cover lettered ‘Her R.H. Princess Amelia’ (sixth daughter of King George iii, 1783–1810), appeared in 2014.22

references Johann David Passavant, Rafael von Urbino und sein Vater Giovanni Santi (Leipzig 1839–1858), ii, p.257 (‘2 vol. in fol.’); Universal catalogue of books on art (London 1870), p.1689; John Shearman, Raphael’s Cartoons in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen and the Tapestries for the Sistine Chapel (London 1972), p.154 note 119

List of prints

■ [1] foreground figure (male), from the Death of Ananias, dated 15 October 1798 (matrice 580 × 445 mm)

■ [2] foreground figure (female), from the Death of Ananias, dated 15 October 1798 (matrice 565 × 435 mm)

■ [3] an Apostle, from the Charge to Peter, dated 15 October 1798 (matrice 575 × 445 mm)

■ [4] Peter, from the Miraculous Draught of Fishes, dated 1 January 1800 (matrice 575 × 470 mm)

■ [5] figure (male), from the Death of Ananias, dated October 1801 (matrice 560 × 435 mm)

■ [6] an Athenian, from Paul preaching at Athens, dated 15 October 1798 (matrice 570 × 440 mm)

■ [7] subsidiary head (female), from the Healing of the Lame Man, dated 1 January 1800 (matrice 595 × 485 mm)

■ [8] a child, from the Healing of the Lame Man, dated 1 January 1800 (matrice 600 × 490 mm)

■ [9] John, from The Charge to Peter, dated 1 January 1800 (matrice 575 × 470 mm)

■ [10] two children, from the Sacrifice at Lystra, dated 15 October 1798 (matrice 490 × 590 mm)

■ [11] two Apostles, from the Charge to Peter, dated October 15, 1798 (matrice 510 × 595 mm)

■ [12] two background figures (female and male), from the Healing of the Lame Man, dated 1 January 1800 (matrice 620 × 500 mm)

■ [13] subsidiary figure (female), from the Healing of the Lame Man, dated 1 January 1800 (matrice 620 × 490 mm)

■ [14] two background figures (male), from the Healing of the Lame Man, dated 10 August 1801 (matrice 690 × 515 mm)

■ [15] three background figures, from the Sacrifice at Lystra, dated 10 August 1801 (matrice 530 × 630 mm)

Print [15] Detail from the Sacrifice at Lystra, engraved by Cardon after a drawing by Ruyssen, published 10 August 1801 (matrice 530 × 630 mm)

1. For the use of the Cartoons as drawing models, and previous plates of heads from the Cartoons, see Chia-Chuan Hsieh, ‘Publishing the Raphael cartoons and the rise of art-historical consciousness in England, 1707–1764’ in The Historical Journal 52 (2009), pp.899–920 (especially pp.915–918).

2. Six of the prints have publication lines dated 15 October 1798; another six prints are dated 1 January 1800; two prints are dated 10 August 1801, and one is dated October 1801. William Thomas Lowndes, The Bibliographer’s manual of English literature, revised edition (London 1864), p.2036, describes the publication as ‘large folio, 3 numbers, containing 15 plates’.

3. In 1803, Ruyssen published a book of twenty-four plates showing human figures or parts of them, offering this text in lieu of a title: ‘The Study for several Years in Italy of the most celebrated Models of Antiquity, the Works of Raphael, Domenichino, and other great Masters, added to the experience of twelve Years employed in successful Teaching in England, has I flatter myself enabled me to offer my Pupils a scientific, rational, and easy Method of expressing every kind of attitude of a Figure in proportion as formed by the Rules of Anatomy and Perspective. Most earnestly wishing my Pupils advancement, in gratitude for the very great Encouragement I have received – I take the Liberty of most humbly Dedicating to them this Collection of Principles. | J. Ruyssen | London Published as the Act directs Dec.r 1803’. It also is a rare work; three copies are known to the writer: British Library, 7805 eee.7; Victoria & Albert Museum, National Art Library, 30 F. 27; Winterthur Museum, NC765 R98.

4. Jean-Antoine Rouzière, Notice sur Nicolas-Joseph Ruyssen (Lille 1851), pp.10, 13, gives 6 October 1784 as the date of Ruyssen’s departure for Rome (arrival 26 November 1784), and 11 April 1791 as the date of his return.

5. A pair of paintings, ‘Bocca della Verità’ and ‘Ancient ritual’, one signed Ruyssen f.[ecit] Roma 1790, were sold by Sotheby’s, ‘The Collection of Gianni Versace’, New York, 5 April 2001, lot 113. Ruyssen was in Florence in 1789; see Fernand Beaucamp, ‘Deux documents inédits sur le séjour, à Rome et à Florence du peintre hazebrouckois Nicolas-Joseph Ruyssen (1757–1826)’ in Bulletin du Comité Flamande de France (1933 [1934]), pp.246–255.

6. Jane Roberts, Royal artists, from Mary Queen of Scots to the present day (London 1987), p.73.

7. Many of these drawings were gathered and placed in Queen Charlotte’s portfolio in the Royal Library in 1903; see Kim Sloan, ‘A Noble art’: Amateur artists and Drawing Masters, c. 1600–1800 (London 2000), pp.76, 210–211, 234–237.

8. Henry Angelo, The reminiscences of Henry Angelo (London 1904), p.154: ‘The studies of heads, hands, and feet, which he laid before his royal pupils, were frequently colos­sal, drawn upon coarse cartridge paper, and were loaded with chalk. He drew with rapidity, and his lines were bold and vigorous; and being a sad sloven in his process, and cutting the chalks for all his royal scholars, his fingers, and sometimes his face, became so smutty, that he might well have passed for a small-coal-man’.

9. Rouzière, op. cit., pp.17–18.

10. See Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, q.v. ‘Cardon, Antoine’; Dictionary of Art, v (1996), pp.733–734; for lists of Cardon’s prints (not including these), see Charles Le Blanc, Manuel de l’Amateur d’estampes (Paris 1854), i, p.591; Alfred von Wurzbach, Niederländisches Künstler-Lexikon (Vienna & Leipzig 1906), i, 244–245 (34 prints); British Museum, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits (London 1925), vi, p.587 and passim.

11. Ruyssen surely was still employed in 1799, when he commissioned from Sir William Beechey, ra (1755–1839) a portrait of Queen Charlotte, inscribed on the original canvas: Portrait of the Queen | painted for Mr Ruyfsen | by Her Majesty’s permission | by Sir William Beechey | 1799 (sold by Sotheby’s, London, 14 July 1999, lot 97). By 1804 Ruyssen had established himself in London (the prem­ises of ‘Joseph Ruyssen, 31 Baker Street North, Portman Square, drawing master’ were insured by the Sun Fire Office; see a document held at The Guildhall Library, MS 11936/431/769179, dated 26 December 1804).

12. His signed painting executed about 1804 depicting the Gordon children Charles (1790–1826), Michael (1792–1860), and Anne Penelope (1794–1868), was sold by Sotheby’s, London, 27 November 2003, lot 170.

13. Joseph Farington, The diary of Joseph Farington, edited by Kathryn Cave (New Haven & London 1978–1998), vii, pp.2528, 2681; x, p.3758.

14. ‘His own portrait, very capital’ on panel, sold by Christie’s, 7 February 1801 (Lugt 6190), lot 91, to Richard Grenville, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Chandos; resold by Christie’s, ‘Stowe sale’, 15 September 1848 (Lugt 19122), p.188, lot 400, to Earl Spencer. See Kenneth J. Garlick, ‘A catalogue of pictures at Althorp’ in The Walpole Society 45 (1974–1976), no. 512.

15. Sotheby’s, ‘Catalogue of the extensive and valuable library of his Royal Highness the Duke of York, deceased, removed from his Royal Highness’s late residence, South Audley Street’, London, 7–31 May 1827, lot 1260 (contents of the copy not stated).

16.Katalog der Privat-Bibliothek seiner Majestät des Königs von Hannover, compiled by Ludwig Nolte (Hannover 1858), ‘Verzeichniss der in der Bibliothek… enthaltenen Kupferwerke’, p.4; sold by Ernst Hauswedell, ‘Die Königliche Ernst August Fideicommiss-Bibliothek. Ester Teil’, Hamburg, 15–16 June 1970, lot 479.

17. Leigh & Sotheby, ‘Library of the late Ralph Willett, Esq., brought from his seat at Merly, in the county of Dorset’, London, 6 December 1813 etc., lot 2187 (described as ‘3 Nos. 15 plates’ and realising the high price of £4 4s).

18. Hector Bossange, ‘Catalogue de la riche bibliothèque de Rosny’, Paris, 20 February–23 March 1837, p.43, lot 505 (bound in red morocco, with her chiffre couronné).

19.Catalogue of Books in the Library of Sir William Heathcote, Bart., M.P., at Hursley Park, in the county of Southampton. Second edition. Arranged 1834, and revised and enlarged 1862, by the late James Darling… completed by his son [James Darling] (Romsey 1865), p.204 (contents not stated). This is perhaps the copy sold by Sotheby’s on 1 May 1918, lot 684.

20.Rouzière, op. cit., pp.18–19. This may be the copy offered by F. Heussner, Catalogue de livres anciens et modernes, Brussels, 15–16 November 1859, p.22 lot 107 (‘16 grandes planches avec titre’; link).

21. Lyon & Turnbull, Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps and Photographs, Edinburgh, 16 January 2013, lot 51 (‘Provenance: Viscount Strathallan, Stobhall, Perthshire’).

22. Antiquariat Peter Kiefer, Auktion 87, Pforzheim, 14–15 February 2014, lot 1724.

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