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Wednesday 2 November 2016

Charles Chauvel’s etching, “À Samois près Valvins”

Charles Chauvel (1875–1909)
“À Samois près Valvins” (At Samois near Valvins), 1874, published by Alfred Cadart (1828–75) on cream chine appliqué on warm white wove paper in “L’Eau Forte”, 1875. This impression is from an unlettered state prior to publication.
Etching and drypoint on Japan paper laid on a conservator’s support sheet of fine washi paper. Signed and dated in the plate.
Size: (sheet) 25.5 x 20.2 cm; (note: plate edge is too faint for accurate measurements) (image borderline) 20.5 x 14.9 cm

The British Museum offers the following description of this print”
“Plate 7: landscape with trees against hedgerow(?), shepherdess seen with sheep in field to right; from a volume of four years of 'L'Eau-Forte'. c.1875 Etching and drypoint” (

Condition: marvellous (proof?) impression laid upon a conservator’s support sheet of fine washi paper.

For many years leading up to this evening when I was researching this very beautiful print by Charles Chauvel (1875–1907), I have had my head in the clouds with the mistaken belief that it was executed by the more illustrious printmaker, Théophile Chauvel (1831–c.1914). Not that the name of the printmaker attached to a print makes all that much difference to me enjoying the poetry in these silhouetted and very French trees. After all, the quality of a print is not guaranteed by the fame of the printmaker but rather by the ability of the image to catch and engage a viewer’s attention and ultimately to lead to a memorable experience.

Regarding the scene portrayed, I have not visited Valvins, but from what I have discovered, Valvins is on the river Seine. It is in the forest of Fontainebleau and it is only about six miles from Barbizon. (Note: I’ve extracted this information about the locality of Valvins from Campbell Fine Art who also hold a copy of this print; see:

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