Saturday, 14 October 2017

Adolphe Appian’s etching, “Bords du Ruisseau à Rossillon (Ain)”, 1867


Adolphe Appian (1818–98)
“Bords du Ruisseau à Rossillon (Ain)” (Banks of the Stream at Rossillon [Ain]), 1867, from the series of 30 plates, "Paysages avec animaux". This impression is from the second state (of five) and was published in “L’Artiste” (The Artist) in May, 1867. The print was later published again in “L’Illustration Nouvelle” (Year 5) in May, 1873.

Etching on light grey chine collé on wove paper
Size: (sheet) 17.8 x 26.9; (plate) 13.8 x 23.2 cm; (image borderline) 11.9 x 22 cm
Inscribed at the upper left corner: “APPIAN 1867
State ii (of v)
Jennings 21; Curtis & Prouté 24ii
See description of this print at University of Michigan Museum of Art: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/musart/x-1997-sl-1.274/*   and at http://www.oldmasterprint.com/appian3.htm

Condition: faultless richly inked and well-printed early impression (2nd state of 5) with small margins in near pristine condition, but there is a light fold on the right side and pencil inscriptions (verso).

I am selling this rare museum quality early impression of what I see as an absolute gem in Appian’s oeuvre as an artist associated with the influential Barbizon school for the total cost of AU$182 (currently US$143.83/EUR121.64/GBP108.24 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this visually unassuming but graphically memorable etching by one of the major printmakers of the 19th century, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold


This is a print that printmakers are very likely to love. It shows a masterly balance between of areas of high energy, such as the web-like treatment of the tree’s foliage on the right that I read as an analogue representation of the artist’s inner personal nervous energy, and broad areas of visual understatement, such as the almost mark-free treatment of the sky which on close examination reveals Appian’s skill in describing clouds with the lightest of strokes so that they become mere suggestions of clouds.

Beyond the attraction of this print with its exhibition of a highly refined sense of aesthetic balance between “worked” and “unworked” areas (i.e. areas where there is a lot of drawing and areas where there isn’t), I also love Appian’s ability to achieve blacks within blacks. What I mean by this strange comment is that he is one of the few artists that can almost match the ability of Frans Hals to represent 50 shades of black in an image. Of course, what I am saying is an exaggeration, but the point here is that he is such a subtle artist that close examination of each centimetre of a print like this small masterpiece is rewarding.






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