Detail from [Boy with recorder] by Jean Ganière, engraver, ?-1666, published by Nicolas Langlois, 17th century. Dayton C. Miller Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.
published by Nicolas Langlois, engraver, 1640-?
This is a half-length portrait of a boy who faces right, playing a recorder. He wears a green jacket over a red blouson, white cuffs, and a wide white collar. He has blond hair, a brown cap, pale pink cheeks, and his hands and face are flesh-colored; the recorder is light brown. The background consists of narrow, parallel horizontal lines. It is a beautifully rendered engraving, colored by hand. According to Nicholas S. Lander in his Web site, Recorder Iconography, this instrument is most likely a flageolet, rather than a recorder. He writes: "Half-length portrait of a youth in a buttoned jacket and a peaked cap who plays a cylindrical duct-flute, left hand uppermost. The little finger of his lowermost hand is beneath the instrument and no finger-hole is visible. This, and the date, suggest that this is a flageolet rather than a recorder."
A translation of the poem beneath the image is as follows: "Listen friend to the instrument / I am going to play marvels for you / On this flute a song / And for the love of your mistress / And to make your sadness go away / It is I alone who gives a lesson in this."
About the Artists
Jean Ganière, engraver, ?-1666
There is very little biographical information on Jean Ganière, except in Bénézit which states that he was an engraver and publisher in Paris in the 17th century. His birth date is not known, only that he died in June of 1666. Bénézit also states that Ganière was an engraver of religious and historic subjects as well as genre.
Nicolas Langlois, engraver, 1640-?
Nicolas Langlois, an engraver of religious subjects, according to Bénézit, was also a publisher. He was born in Paris in 1640, but no death date is given. He was the son of François Langlois (1589-1647), called "Ciartres" because he was born in Chartres, an art and book dealer and publisher of engravings and illustrated books in Paris, whose business Nicolas Langlois continued.
More biographical information on François Langlois, Nicolas' father, is available in Bénézit and other sources, which seems helpful to repeat here as it gives some framework to Nicolas Langlois' background. Though François Langlois was born in Chartres, he died in Paris. He traveled throughout France, and went to Italy, Spain and England, and became known as a connoisseur of fine arts. He was an art agent for Charles I of England and was a close friend of many well-known artists. François Langlois was also a very fine engraver and he copied many works by Rembrandt. He also engraved Histoire de Psyché (The Story of Psyche), a series of fourteen engravings, after Raphael.
What is of special interest, however, is that François Langlois was a musician of some repute. Several portraits of François Langlois are known in which Langlois is shown playing a musette or sourdeline, a type of bagpipe. Two portraits in oil were done by Claude Vignon (1593-1670), and a drawing and painting were executed by Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641). One of Vignon's portraits of Langlois of ca. 1621 is on loan to Wellesley College in Massachusetts. The other Vignon portrait, which probably dates to the late 1630s, belongs to the Hispanic Society of America in New York. The van Dyck portrait of François Langlois of ca. 1637 is currently in the collection of The Viscount Cowdray, in Sussex, and the drawing which was a study for it is in the Frits Lugt Collection in Paris. An engraving of the earlier portrait of Langlois by Vignon was produced by Charles David (1600-1636) and, in 1645, Jean Pesne (1623-1700) engraved the portrait of Langlois by van Dyck. Both engravings carry inscriptions identifying Langlois as the sitter. The inscription on the Pesne engraving mentions that Langlois was born in Chartres, that he was a dealer in books and prints in Paris, and that he played the musette as well as other musical instruments.
- See Nicholas S. Lander, Recorder Iconography, under Ganière. [back to article]
- For further information on François Langlois, examples of portraits of him, and the rare sourdeline which he played, see the following two sources: 1) Laurence Libin, "Claude Vignon's portrait of François Langlois," in Musique - Images - Instruments no. 5 (2003):158-164, which reproduces several portraits of Langlois and engravings after them, and discusses fully the sourdeline which is shown in the portraits of Langlois. LC call number: ML85.M97; 2) Pierre Rosenberg, France in the Golden Age: Seventeenth-Century French Paintings in American Collections. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1982, pp. 332-333, cat. no. 113, repr. color p. 187 (portrait of Langlois by Vignon at Wellesley College). LC call number: ND546.R6713. [back to article]