Suite of plates for Collection complète des oeuvres de J.J. Rousseau [print]

Download image: 
Accession number: 
PML 140140
Londres [i.e. Bruxelles] : J.L. De Boubers, 1774-1783.
1 album (37 leaves of plates) : engravings ; 26 cm (page size: 9 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches)
Bequest; Gordon N. Ray; 1987.

Julie, accompanied by her cousin, grants a first kiss to her lover in a bosquet, or bower. This memorable scene was a favorite of the novel's illustrators, beginning with Hubert François Gravelot, who received detailed instructions from Rousseau on how to achieve just the right combination of innocence and sensuality. And yet his composition seems staid in comparison to this version by Moreau le Jeune, who admired Rousseau's works and had studied them closely. Moreau understood what kind of bower the author had in mind, not the neatly trimmed trellis imagined by Gravelot but rather this grand arch overgrown by trees, shrubbery, and flowers.


Engravings after Moreau, Le Barbier and de La Tour by St. Aubin, Choffard, Duclos, Duflos, N. de Launay, R. Delaunay, Le Mire, Leveau, Martini, Simonet, Dambrun, Halbou, Ingouf, Romanet and Trière.

Red morocco by Zaehnsdorf.
From the library of Gordon N. Ray.