Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Albert Besnard’s etchings, “Tristesse” (1887) and “Mes enfants” (1889)


Albert Besnard (aka Paul Albert Besnard) (1849–1934)

“Tristesse” (Sadness), 1887, published in the July 1887 edition of the “Gazette des Beaux-Arts” to complement d'Alfred de Lostalot’s discussion, “Exposition Internationale de Peinture et de la Sculpture” (International Exposition of Painting and Sculpture).

Etching with plate tone on cream laid paper and full margins as published
Size: (sheet) 26.9 x 18.4 cm; (plate) 15 x 9.9 cm
Inscribed at lower left with the artist’s monogram (almost indecipherable as it is so small): “AB”
Lettered at upper left: “GAZETTE DES BEAUX-ARTS”
State iii (of iii)

Delteil 61.iii (Loys Delteil 1906, “Louis Godefroy Albert Besnard”, vol. 30 of “Le Peintre-Graveur”, Paris, cat. no. 61.iii, np); Coppier 54.iii (André-Charles Coppier 1920, “Les eaux-fortes de Besnard’ Paris, 1920, cat. no. 54.iii, p. 43); Bibliothèque-Nationale 21 (IFF Inventaire du Fonds Français: Bibliothèque Nationale, Départment des Estampes. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, 1930-, cat. no. 21, p.341)

The Fine Art Museums of San Francisco offer the following description of this print:
“Upper torso and head of a pensive woman looking out a window” (https://art.famsf.org/albert-besnard/tristesse-sadness-gazette-des-beaux-arts-2008211)
See also the description at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/688529

Condition: richly inked and faultless impression in pristine condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, stains, abrasions or foxing) with full margins as published.

I am selling this print along with the other Besnard etching that I am showcasing this evening for a combined total price of AU$260 (currently CNY1367.71/US$207.45/EUR172.16/GBP160.13 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this stunningly beautiful pair of etchings that to my eyes foreshadow the prints of the legendary Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945), please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

These prints have been sold






Albert BESNARD (1849–1934)

“Mes enfants” (aka “Une famille”), 1889, published in the “Gazette des Beaux-Arts”

Etching and aquatint with plate tone on cream laid paper and full margins as published
Size: (sheet) 26.9 x 18.4 cm; (plate) 15.9 x 11.9 cm; (image borderline) 15 x 11.1 cm
The sheet is unsigned and there are no inscriptions.
State ii (of ii)

Delteil 94 ii; Coppier 80 ii

Idbury Prints, offers the following insightful description of this print:
“One of Besnard's most tender and intimate etchings, using his own children as models, this etching, although quite different in composition, clearly relates to Besnard's important painting of 1890, “Une famille”, which is in the Musée d'Orsay.”
See also the description at the Cleveland Museum of Art: http://www.clevelandart.org/art/1923.1117

Condition: richly inked and faultless impression in near pristine condition (note that there is a tiny speck of brown at the lower edge of the plate mark) with full margins as published.

I am selling this print along with the other Besnard etching that I am showcasing this evening for a combined total price of AU$260 (currently CNY1367.71/US$207.45/EUR172.16/GBP160.13 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this stunningly beautiful pair of etchings that to my eyes foreshadow the prints of the legendary Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945), please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

These prints have been sold






This pair of etchings, “Mes enfants” (1889) and “Tristesse” (1887), have been literally floating around my studio for too long and so I thought that tonight is the night that I need to examine them properly.

What makes these prints interesting for me is that they are so rich in associations. By this I am not specifically referring to the gentle mood of wistful melancholy expressed in “Tristesse”, or the way that Besnard’s son is portrayed at the top of “Mes enfants” that I read as wishing to include me (the viewer) with the rest of his family’s as they watch an opera performance. (If it were something by Berlioz I might even feel tempted!) Instead, I see these prints as spanning an interval in the history of art that foreshadows the deep and moving pathos captured by the legendary Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945) and the critically important influence that Japanese woodblock prints had on European art in the late 19th century. Regarding this latter influence, note how Besnard has arranged the composition of both prints as a vertical journey for the viewer’s eye to negotiate—a bit like climbing stairs—rather than as compositions designed to be looked at from left to right. 

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