Aurora and Cephalus (after PIERRE-NARCISSE GUÉRIN)
Aurora and Cephalus (after Pierre-Narcisse Guérin) 1821
engraving on wove paper; 562 x 417 mm (22 1/8 x 16 3/8 inches)
Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, Paris (Lugt 2203)
Charles M. Lea, Philadelphia (Lugt 1662a)
Philadelphia Museum of Art (acc. no. 28-42-1425)
de-accessioned in 2017
Born in Switzerland, Forster trained first as an engraver of watch cases before arriving, still at the young age of only fifteen, in Paris in 1805. There he enrolled at the École des beaux arts. He soon one a second prize for engraving in 1809, followed by the grand prix in 1814. He was supported by his Swiss sovereign the Prince Wagram. In 1814 the canton of Neuenburg fell back to Prussia and Forster lost his stipend. However, is outstanding talent was also recognized by the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III who continued to support him. Forster went to Rome from 1815 to 1817. Back in Paris, he continued to make engravings after the most celebrated paintings of his day, Guérin’s Aurora and Cephalus being one of them (this print is explicitly mentioned in the entry on Forster in Thieme/Becker).