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The Departure

A work made of etching and engraving printed in yellow, blue, red, and black inks on paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of etching and engraving printed in yellow, blue, red, and black inks on paper.

Date:

1795

Artist:

Charles-Melchior Descourtis
French, 1753-1820

About this artwork

This image illustrates Virginie, on the far right, bidding farewell to her family before boarding a ship bound for Paris. The drama of the scene is heightened by moody contrasts between moonlight and shadow, as well as the island’s exaggeratedly “exotic” geography, which includes the rocky cliff where the family has gathered. Virginie’s pained mother reaches out to her, while Paul clasps Virginie’s waist in protest and gestures towards the waiting vessel, pleading for permission to join her. The work also depicts the story’s narrator for the first time, shown here on the left next to Paul’s mother.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Charles Melchior Descourtis

Title

The Departure

Origin

France

Date

Made 1795

Medium

Etching and engraving printed in yellow, blue, red, and black inks on paper

Dimensions

375 × 412 mm (image); 416 × 474 mm (sheet, cut within platemark)

Credit Line

The Joseph Brooks Fair Collection

Reference Number

1926.481

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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