Thursday, 19 May 2016
Charles Émile Jacque (1813–94)
“Le Labourage” [The Ploughing], 1864, printed by Sarazin (fl. c. 1846–80)
Etching and burin on cream laid paper
Size: (sheet) 31 x 48 cm; (plate) 21.7 x 27.1 cm; (image) 15.6 x 22.7 cm
Signed within image and lettered with title, production and publication detail below: "CH.JACQUES PINX ET SC." and "SARAZIN IMP. PARIS"
The British Museum offers the following description of the upper print: “No.6 in a series of 24 plates; two horses pulling plough through field, peasant at rear.” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1429718&partId=1&searchText=Jacque+Le+Labourage&people=119978&page=1)
Guiffrey 1866 182.II; IFF 285
Condition: superb well-inked and crisp impression with large margins as published. There are signs of use (i.e. a few superficial dirty marks chips and bumps to the edges of the sheet) and pencil notations from previous collectors on the lower edge of the sheet (recto), but otherwise the sheet is in good condition (i.e. there is no foxing, holes or stains).
I am selling this comparatively large etching by one of the leading artists of the Barbizon School for the total cost of AU$138 (currently US$99.43/EUR88.61/GBP67.89 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this original Jacque etchings exemplifying the spirit of the Barbizon School, please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
I suspect that this print by Charles Émile Jacque—one of the most famous artists of nineteenth century rural France—was conceived from its very beginning as a timeless vision of hard rural labour. What I mean by this proposal is not that Jacque simply made a drawing of two horses and a man ploughing a field, but rather that Jacque intended to create, in a very calculated way, an image of ploughing that crystallised like an icon the romance of physical work using old farming techniques that were quickly disappearing as the industrial age progressed in France. For instance, Jacque has chosen a low viewpoint—close to what a worm might see—so that the horses are shown off in all their magnificently noble strength. Note also how the fine line of the farmer’s whip is portrayed with a trembling rhythm to suggest the jerky movement of the plough. In short, Jacque wanted to create in this print a strong image of labour that would be remembered.