This and the following three lots are related to a set of four pictures and four prints engraved as part of the group of twenty or thirty caricatures entitled Les Folies du Jour, S. Siegfried, The Art of Louis-Léopold Boilly, exhib. cat., Fort Worth, The Kimbell Art Museum and elsewhere, 1995, figs. 44-8.
This set was published in 1796-8 and included four prints after Boilly. The rest of the engravings was based on drawings by Carle Vernet, Isabey and Bosio and other anonymous artists.
The four pictures were in the sale of the engraver Salvadore Tresca on 2 April 1816, and were probably the works used for the prints, S. Siegfried, op. cit., pp. 70-1, p. 208, note 46. They are now in a private collection in Brussels.
Les Folies du Jour aimed at ridiculing the habits and fashion of the period. Boilly's figures, unlike those of Vernet's, are not caricatures and show in a direct way people about their daily life. In this drawing a woman intervenes to stop an illegal duel. The title of the print translates as Make Peace.
Susan Siegfried adds that 'the only characters that Boilly treated with exaggeration were social villains, notably the agioteurs and the drunken fiddler in the dance scene Les Folies du Jour [lot 263]...Boilly's other characters were far more restrained. Nothing about them was exagerated, and their costumes conform to the contours of their bodies...Oddly this politeness made Boilly's figures more disturbing, because they were harder to read. He effaced the distinction that caricatures so neatly drew between normality and deviance, centrality and marginality. His exploitation of such ambiguity of meaning was at its best in Point de Convention [lot 261]', S. Siegfried, op. cit., p. 74.
The print after the present drawing was registered at the Bibliothèque Nationale on 9 Germinal an V (29 March 1797).
This and the next three drawings will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné on the artist's work by Etienne Breton and Pascal Zuber.