[ Félicien Rops, Belgian Symbolist engraver. ] Aquatint engraving of a fashionable couple chatting while serenaded by a lutanist, with a Spanish ball behind them around a plinth on which a sphinx sits while being kissed by the winged head Hypnos.

[ Félicien Rops (1833-1898), Belgian Symbolist engraver ]
Publication details: 
[ Without place. ] 1876.
SKU: 20287

Printed in black ink on one side of a piece of 26.5 x 19 cm paper wove paper. Unsigned and without caption or text, but unmistakably the work of Rops, and with his name written in light pencil in the margin. Apparently a proof. Dimensions of plate 16 x 9 cm, and of the illustration itself 11 x 6.5 cm. Aged and creased, with spotting at head. A characteristically curious production, theatrical in origin, in the high Gothic style, with a central image of a seated fashionable Victorian gentleman and lady chatting urbanely, while serenaded by a mediaeval lutanist, with a Spanish ball in progress behind them around a plinth on which a sphinx is engaged in a passionate embrace with Rops's motif of the winged head Hypnos. Incorporated into the ornate design of the Gothic picture frame enclosing this scene are features including full-length figures of a man with sword and a blindfolded woman, winged serpents embraced by putti. At the foot of the frame is a cherub holding up the masks of comedy and tragedy, above which the date '1876' is engraved on a shell.