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A mother wrapping a baby in swaddling bandages, with a child, the baby's nurse, and two other servants. Engraving by A. Bosse, 1633.

  • Bosse, Abraham, 1602-1676.
Date
[1633]
Reference
17545i
Part of
Le mariage à la ville
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view A mother wrapping a baby in swaddling bandages, with a child, the baby's nurse, and two other servants. Engraving by A. Bosse, 1633.

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Credit: A mother wrapping a baby in swaddling bandages, with a child, the baby's nurse, and two other servants. Engraving by A. Bosse, 1633. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

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About this work

Description

In front of a blazing fireplace sit three women. The left one stretches a cloth across the front of the fire to warm it: she is described in the lettering as "cette jeune servente, qui chauffe la couche a l'enfant". To the right of her is a woman with a child: the woman holds the baby and wraps or unwraps its swaddling clothes. She is presumably the mother, described in the lettering as having a "mine ... si fort en bon poinct". She wears a headdress which is indistinct. To the right of her is an older woman, wearing a bonnet on the back of her head: she is presumed to be the nurse, referred to in the lettering as "cette gentille nourrice, / coiffee de son bauolet". She rolls up a roll of swaddling band. Blum seems to confuse the nurse and the mother when he says, "A côté de la jeune mere, la nourrice emmaillote l'enfant" (loc. cit.), meaning that, next to the young mother, the nurse wraps the baby (sc. in swaddling clothes).

In the background a woman uses a rod to prepare the mother's bed: to smooth the bedclothes? A painting leaning against the right wall shows the Holy Family with Christ sucking at the breast of the Virgin

Identification of the subject by Blum, Villa and others as "La visite à la nourrice" seems questionable, as the house seems to be the mother's

Publication/Creation

[Paris] : Tavernier excudit, [1633]

Physical description

1 print : line engraving and etching ; image 26.6 x 35 cm.

Lettering

La mine de cette accouchee. ... ABosse fe.

References note

A. Blum, L'œuvre gravé d'Abraham Bosse, Paris 1924, no. 121 ("La visite à la nourrice")
Nicole Villa, Le XVIIe siècle vu par Abraham Bosse, graveur du Roy, Paris 1967, pl. 61 ("La visite à la nourrice")

Lettering note

Lettering: "La mine de cette accouchee / me semble si fort en bon poinct, / que volontiers pour mon pourpoinct / je voudrois l'avoir empeschee. / A cette gentille nourrice, / coiffee de son bauolet, / quand on deburoit troubler, son laict / seroit bon luy rendre service. / Et pour cette jeune servente, / qui chauffe la couche a l'enfant, / qui luy vouldroit en faire autant, / je croy quelle seroit contente. / J'entens à faire le mesnage, / et sur tout a dresser un lict, / mais, pour, y prendre son desduict, / je fais mieux encor cet ouurage."
The lettering is divided into four quatrains. Each quatrain seems to be spoken by the person in the engraving under whom it appears. If that is correct, the woman on the left who warms the bedclothes looks across at the mother and says "La mine de cette accouchee / me semble si fort en bon poinct, / que volontiers pour mon pourpoinct / je voudrois l'avoir empeschee.". The mother looks at the nurse on her left and says "A cette gentille nourrice, / coiffee de son bauolet, / quand on deburoit troubler, son laict / feroit bon luy rendre service." The nurse looks at the woman who warms the bedclothes and says "Et pour cette jeune servente, / qui chauffe la couche a l'enfant, / qui luy vouldroit en faire autant, / je croy quelle seroit contente." The woman on the right who makes up the bed comments on her own work. "J'entens à faire le mesnage, / et sur tout a dresser un lict, / mais, pour, y prendre son desduict, / je fais mieux encor cet ouurage."

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 17545i

Type/Technique

Languages

  • French


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