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Satirical portraits and visual lampoons of Rameau and his works

Abstract : From Les Fêtes d’Hébé and Dardanus in 1739 to the revival of Hippolyte et Aricie in 1778, Rameau and his music were the target of satirical engravers and designers. While some of the artists remain anonymous, others include such famous names as Louis Carrogis dit Carmontelle, Charles-Nicolas Cochin II the younger, and Marin Fessard the younger, after Pierre-Louis Durand and Charles-Nicolas Cochin II the younger. This article gives a chronological panorama of the engravings, analysing their iconography in detail and identifying their sources, motives and polemical context. The images are examined in conjunction with a group of drawings by Charles-Germain de Saint-Aubin (1721–86) in his Livre de caricatures tant bonnes que mauvaises, dating from 1740 to 1775 and preserved in the Rothschild collection at Waddesdon Manor, England. Those drawings relating to Rameau in this collection, still almost entirely unknown to musicologists, will be discussed in relation to a recent Voltaire Foundation publication devoted to them in 2012.
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Contributor : Florence Gétreau <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 10:48:35 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, January 3, 2021 - 6:22:03 PM




Florence Gétreau. Satirical portraits and visual lampoons of Rameau and his works. Early Music, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2016, 44 (4), pp.523-537. ⟨10.1093/em/caw080⟩. ⟨halshs-01496970⟩



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