A man wearing a mask drinking a cup of coffee (Le Masque au Caffé), Title page to 'Divers Portraits'
Giovanni David (Italian, Cabella Ligure 1749–1790 Genoa)
Etching and aquatint
plate: 9 5/16 x 6 1/2 in. (23.7 x 16.5 cm)
sheet: 15 5/16 x 10 13/16 in. (38.9 x 27.5 cm)
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1979
Not on view
Most of Giovanni David's etchings that were published by his Genoese patron in Venice are infused with the sophistication and theatricality that characterized the city's culture in the eighteenth century. This print is the frontispiece to a series of twelve prints, the 'Divers Portraits'. All of the types shown are characteristic of Venice and its environs. Inscribed with French poems on society's customs and morals drawn from the works of the French satirist Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux. Here, we see a masked reveler taking refreshment in one of the coffeehouses first introduced in the eighteenth century. The series is dedicated to Domenico Corvi, David's teacher in Rome.
Inscription: Inscription: (on table at left in image) Divers / PORTRAITS / gravés à l'eau-forte, / et dediés à MrDOMINIQUE CORVI / Peintre Celebre / par / JEAN DAVID GENOIS / Son Éleve. / À VENISE. 1775.; lower margin: (left) David Gen. Inv. fecit.; (center) Le Masque au Caffé.; (below, center) Laißons-là, croyez-moi, le Monde tel qu'il est. Boil. Sat. 10.[periods ?]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Venetian Prints and Books in the Age of Tiepolo," January 23, 1997–April 22, 1997.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," October 25, 2004–January 23, 2005.
Le Blanc 11.99.14; Andresen HB I.332.4; New York 1996, no. 67; Boerner 2000 no. 1 (first state without aquatint)