Jean (de) Jullienne was two years younger than Watteau. He was a promoter of the business of dyes and fine fabrics of his uncle, to whom he will succeed in 1729. This wealthy young man began in 1717 to buy paintings to his friend and prepare prints.
Watteau died in 1721. He was only 37 years old but left an abundant work.
The collection of Watteau prints published by Jullienne is an early example of what is now called a 'catalogue raisonné', and it is still used today for authenticating paintings by Watteau. Jullienne commissioned for the project the best engravers including Boucher and Jean Audran.
The publication was carried out in two deliveries, in two different sizes, 49 x 32 cm and 62 x 47 cm, including a total of 619 works by Watteau. The first part was published in 1726-1728. The second part, limited to 100 copies, was published in 1735.
On November 6 in Paris, Sotheby's sells a copy of the two Recueils Jullienne, each one bound in two volumes by Padeloup before 1758. That set belonged to Czar Alexander I and obtained after 1928 the exit permit from the Hermitage collections. Many Recueils Jullienne have been dismantled by print dealers and complete copies are now exceptional. This one is estimated € 200K, lot 245.