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Un Incroyable by Horace Vernet – Plate 1 – Original 19th Century Engraving

Les Incroyables et Merveilleuses – The Fashionable Post-Revolutionary Set

19th Century hand colored engraving from the group of 24 designs produced by Horace Vernet (1789-1863) entitled “Incroyables et merveilleuses,” covering the fashions of the years 1810-1818.  This is an original copperplate engraving of the period – not a later reprint.

A handsome dandy holding a monocle, wears the exaggerated version of an English jacket adopted by Les Incroyables, and the typical leggings with a collection of breloques (charms) at his belt.  The text reads “Chapeau en Bateau, Habit Couleur Crotin, Culotte de Peau” (Boat Hat, Crotin Colored Suit, Suede Pants).

Dimensions: 28 X 32 cm

Incroyables et Merveilleuses

The Fashionable Post-Revolutionary Set – Paris Circa 1796

After the fall of Robespierre and the end of the Terror, a wave of relief and of fashion giddiness swept Paris.

Young men known as “Incroyables” and their female counterparts “Les Merveilleuses” rejoiced in adopting a wildly exaggerated look which flaunted the social conventions of the time. They were the ultimate dandy set, the golden youth of their time, arrogant and outrageous.  Some of the Incroyables, known as Muscadins (because of their heavy musk perfume), had a dark side. They organized into bands and roamed the streets using their bludgeons and canes to harass the revolutionary Jacobins.

Engravings by Carle and Horace Vernet 

The famous French artist Carle Vernet (1758-1836) created a series of caricatures of the wardrobes of the Incroyables and Merveilleuses which became an enormous popular success during the Directoire period.  Later, Carl Vernet’s son, HoraceVernet (1789-1863) revisited this popular subject, designing a set of elegant engravings for a 1814-1815 publication entitled “Incroyables et merveilleuses.”

Please note that we offer both 19th Century original engravings as well as posters and reproductions of these fascinating works.  The descriptions make clear which is which.