Du Moulin in Peasant Garb Dancing at the Opera

Jean Berain French
Published by Jean Mariette French

Not on view

Etching and engraving with a design for a costume for [Henri] Du Moulin, one of four brothers who appeared at the Paris Opera in the early eighteenth century, wearing peasant garb, created by Jean I Berain and published by Mariette. Entrusted with drawings for costumes, stage sets, and royal ceremonies at the 'Academie Royale de la Musique' since 1680, Berain's ingenious creations took acanthus and laurel leaves, palmettes and grotesques, mixing them with dancers, acrobats, monkeys and satyrs, to create his own, imaginative, theatrical world. His designs were multiplied and disseminated by means of engravings, his design motifs and manner objects becoming highly influential in the closing years of the seventeenth century. Like this print, many of his designs were for costumes intended for the performances of the Royal Academy of Music.

In the print, Du Moulin dances with his head in profile looking over his right shoulder, his hands in motion in the air, and his right leg raised to the front, leaving his weight on his left foot. His costume is made up of a simple, low-waisted justaucorps, hip-length waistcoat laced down the front, and wide, knee breeches; the collar of the justaucorps is trimmed with a frill, the full-length, cuffed sleeves pouched and held by a hand at the elbows. He wears a flat-crowned, wide-brimmed hat topped with feathers on his head, and pointed boots with bows. Behind him is a 'parc à la française' decorated with statues, ornamental vases with grotesques and orange trees, and a fountain. To the right is a pool with water and two swans swimming in it.

Du Moulin in Peasant Garb Dancing at the Opera, Jean Berain (French, Saint-Mihiel 1640–1711 Paris), Etching and engraving

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