Portrait of Actor Etienne Simon Amant Marguet, called Amant by Henry Bonaventure Monnier


Portrait of Actor Etienne Simon Amant Marguet, called Amant by Henry Bonaventure Monnier.

Henry Bonaventure Monnier

Paris, 1805-1877

Portrait of Actor Etienne Simon Amant Marguet, called Amant

Watercolour and gouache

Signed Henry Monier Juin 1856. Inscribed on the back Amant dans le rôle de Vincent dans le dîner de Madelon.

261 x 164 mm – 10 1/4 x 6 7/16 in.  


This drawing is a portrait of the actor Étienne Simon Amant Marguet, called Amant (1797 – 1860), who regularly played at the Vaudeville and at the Théâtre du Palais royal, particularly in plays by Eugène Labiche. He is here represented in a short vaudeville piece written by Marc Antoine Désaugiers, Le diner de Madelon ou le Bourgeois du Marais (“Madelon’s diner or The bourgeois from the Marais”), which had been presented for the first time at the Théâtre des Variétés on the 6 September 1813. He plays the role of Vincent, Benoit’s friend and unwelcome visitor, tricked by the house maid Madelon.

An actor and playwriter, Henri Monnier was also an illustrator and caricaturist. He authored many lithographic albums in which he executed witty caricatures of Parisian people in the streets or the salons, ranging from the “grisette” (shopgirl) to the “bourgeois”, not forgetting the office worker etc. His most famous character is Monsieur Prudhomme, “the illustrious type of Parisian bourgeois” according to Balzac, a figure Monnier drew and embodied at the theatre, and who was revived by Sacha Guitry in 1931 (in the play Monsieur Prudhomme a t-il vécu?)

Henry Monnier led many activities in an artistic and literary broad circle of friends which was qualified by Dancourt of “almost the whole of the 1830 young literary Pleiad” (“Le photographe de Monsieur Prudhomme, Henri Monnier”, in Revue Générale, year 13th, tome XXV, Brussels, 1877, February, p. 270). A close friend of Alexandre Dumas, Théophile Gautier, Stendhal, Eugène Sue, Prosper Mérimée, Eugène Delacroix, Louis Boulanger, Balzac etc, Monnier enlivened their friendly meetings by his plays and mimes, real popular representations of Parisian life. Henri Monnier appears in Balzac’s writings under the name of Jean Jacques Bixiou.

Condition report – very good condition, three tiny stains upper right.


Encadrement d'origine, Lavis fait main