Curious c. 1800 French Watercolor, Le Diable Couleur de Rose Opera, Valogne

Regular price $110.00

Such a strange and curious watercolor drawing, which I know dates to right  around 1800. I believe it was done after a published engraving dated 1798, advertising the performance of Le Diable Couleur de Rose, a comedic opera, in Valogne, France, and was printed with the caption "Oh! Les belles pommes." (Oh! The beautiful apples.") Here, instead, the caption is simply Vologne (in those beautiful block letters) and the title of the opera is handwritten at upper left. 

The opera (full title "Le Diable Couleur de Rose ou le Bon homme Misère") was written by Levrier Champrion with score by Pierre Gaveaux. I haven't been able to find much about the plot, but believe the watercolor depicts the "miserable" protagonist, strangely positioned under an apple tree, looking rather as if up to something illicit--and more generally clearly tormented, perhaps caught between the urge to seize an apple vs. waiting (praying) for one to fall. I really love the darkness and weirdness and existential dilemma feeling of it, and also the marvelous cherries detailing his vest! 

7 1/8" x 4 3/4". Watercolor on laid. Good condition--220+ years old!--with some light creasing to the paper, minor.