Saturday, 31 March 2018

Adolphe Martial Potémont’s etching, “Hêtres”, c1874


Adolphe Martial Potémont (aka Adolphe Martial; Adolphe Théodore Jules Martial Potémont) (1828–1883)

“Hêtres” (Beeches), titled in pencil below image borderline, c1874–75 (?), artist’s proof signed in pencil (by the artist?), most likely printed and published by Alfred Cadart (1828–75).

Etching on cream laid paper (2.8 cm chainlines) with “Arches” watermark
Size: (sheet) 59.9 x 42 cm; (plate) 43.4 x 27.4 cm; (image borderline) 40.4 x 25.8 cm
Signed in the plate with the artist’s initials/monogram below the image borderline: (centre) “APM.”
Inscribed in pencil below the image borderline: “…[H?] êtres — A Martial Portémont —Eau-forté / jeu …[premier?]”
Trial/Artist’s proof state

Condition: richly-inked proof impression with generous margins, pencil annotated and in superb condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing, but there are very minor signs of handling).

I am selling this exceptionally large and rare pencil signed (by the artist?) proof for the total cost of AU$182 (currently US$139.83/EUR113.43/GBP99.76 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this forest scene of Beech trees exemplifying the spirit of the Barbizon School, 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


I have never seen another copy of this etching in any of the major museums or on the market place. This is disappointing as the shortfall in trustworthy information about it means that I have relied upon matching similar prints by the artist to attribute a date for its execution. Moreover, I have relied upon the pencil inscription for the print's title—hopefully my reading of the written title is correct as the first letter is not easily deciphered. In short, forgive me if there are errors in my documentation. One thing is certain: this is very large and fully resolved etching that I have no doubt the artist would have valued as one of his masterworks simply because it is so beautiful. This is especially true regarding the way that the artist has employed subtle tonal transitions and a rich vocabulary of different strokes moulded to describe the wide range of textures that he observed in the forest. 







Friday, 30 March 2018

De Claussin’s interpretative etching of a melancholic figure after Jean Jacques de Boissieu, 1817



Chevalier Ignace Joseph de Claussin (1766–1844)

“Le mélancolique: 1 ère  interprétation” (aka “Three-Quarter Bust of a Man” [Met]), 1817, plate 7 from the series/album “Eleven Head Studies”, after the design by Jean Jacques de Boissieu (aka Jean Jacques de Boissieux) (1736–1810), published by J H Rittner (1802–40) and Jean Fréderic Ostervald (1773–1850). Marie-Félicie Perez (1995) in “L'oeuvre gravé de Jean-Jacques de Boissieu”, p. 349, proposes that this etching is an interpretation of a non-localised drawing (“d'un dessin non localise”) in the Vivant-Denon collection, presumably a sanguine drawing “representing an old man’s head.” (Note that the Detroit Institute of Arts holds what I believe is a related pencil drawing by De Boissieu, “La Mélancolie” [1789–1810]; see https://www.dia.org/art/collection/object/la-m%C3%A9lancolie-35003)

Etching on laid paper lined on archival support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 29.4 x 21.6 cm; (plate) 22.4 x 16.6 cm; (image borderline) 20.4 x 16.3 cm
Inscribed below the image borderline at right: “De Boissieu”
State ii (of ii) with erasure of the plate number “7” at upper right shown in state i.

Perez 197 d. “(Marie-Félicie Perez 1995 [reprint of the 1878 catalogue with commentary and extra information], “L'oeuvre gravé de Jean-Jacques de Boissieu 1736–1810)”, Geneva).
See also the description of this print in its first state at The Met: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/395825

Condition: faultless, well-printed crisp impression in pristine condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, stains, abrasions or foxing) laid upon an archival support sheet.

I am selling this visually arresting and insightful psychological portrait—perhaps based on a self-portrait by De Boissieu interpreted by De Claussin—for AU$140 (currently US$108.17/EUR87.72/GBP76.97 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this intensely observed study of a man in a state of melancholic rumination, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


Although I have no irrefutable proof that this etching is based on a self-portrait by De Boissieu—and even Marie-Félicie Perez’s (1878) comprehensive catalogue does not propose the subject’s name—to my eyes, the facial features of the sitter are very similar to De Boissieu’s formally documented self-portrait, “Self Portrait (with Cows)” (see https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/360121).

From a personal wish to construct a mental picture of the artist, I really want this to be a self-portrait of De Boissieu. After all, the artist’s authenticated self-portrait shares what may be a meaningful connection to this study of a man engaged in dreadful thoughts. What I mean by this is that De Boissieu’s acknowledged self-portrait shows in its early states the artist holding a loving painting of his wife which—shockingly—is erased in later states and replaced with a pastoral scene of cows. This change in the portrayed subject is easy to understand as the artist’s wife died during the execution of the plate and the artist altered the subject to erase painful memories. Mindful of the distressed mindset of the artist, I can see a meaningful link between the evolution of the imagery in the acknowledged self-portrait and this image of man portrayed in painful ruminations. From my standpoint, I fully understand how the death of one’s partner would lead to deep melancholy—the subject of this etching.








Thursday, 29 March 2018

Charles Émile Jacque’s etching, “Landscape: Willows”, 1845


Charles Émile Jacque (1813–1894)

“Paysage: Saules.” (Landscape: Willows), 1845, printed by Auguste Delâtre (1822–1907)
Etching on chine-collé on laid paper with full margins as published

Size: (sheet) 24.6 x 36 cm; (plate) 8.8 x 15.1 cm; (image borderline) 7.5 x 13.4 cm
Inscribed on the plate within the image borderline: (upper left) “ch. Jaque1845
Very faint traces of the plate number (28) and Marchant's and Delâtre's addresses below the image borderline at left.
State ii (of ii) with figures on the left bank of the first state erased.

Guiffrey 1866 65 II (JJ Guiffrey 1866, “L’Oeuvre de Ch. Jacque: Catalogue de ses Eaux-Fortes et Pointes Sèches”, Paris, pp. 53–4); IFF 133 (Inventaire du Fonds Français: Bibliothèque Nationale, Département des Estampes, Paris, 1930).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Landscape with river running into the left foreground, and at centre some willow trees on a grassy bank; rowing boat moored at left; huntsman with gun walking towards the willow trees; with lettered inscription removed. 1845” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3362709&partId=1&searchText=charles+Jacque+1845+saules&page=1)
See also the description of this print at the New York Public Library Digital Collections: https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dd-fbfd-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

JJ Guiffrey (1866) in “L’Oeuvre de Ch. Jacque: Catalogue de ses Eaux-Fortes et Pointes Sèches” offers the following description of this print from its first state where there are additional two figures featured at the lower left:
(Google transl.) “On the edge of a river, in the midst of rushes, stand three willows; to the right, a hunter, half hidden by the grass, with his rifle, and two trees quite slender. On the left, a flat boat is half-drawn out of the water, at the bottom there is a line-feeder, some trees, and two other personages. Three birds cross the sky.” (pp. 53–4)

Condition: a museum quality, richly inked and crisp impression with full and generous margins in near pristine condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, stains, abrasions or foxing but there are erased pencil notions that are virtually invisible).

I am selling this very poetic etching filled with light and air, for AU$138 (currently US$105.97/EUR85.97/GBP75.39 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this simple but magnificent image from the Barbizon School of artists, 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








Gallery Update

For the past three weeks my cook has taken me on bumpy road trip in wonderful India … hence there has been a break from my usual posting of prints. The photos shown below are my favourite memories and if you wish to see more and read the daily account of our trip (and the locations of the pics), please have a look at my Instagram gallery: https://www.instagram.com/printsandprinciples/




















Sunday, 4 March 2018

Cornelis Galle’s engraving, “The Infant Christ and the Infant John the Baptist Playing with the Lamb”, c1640


Cornelis Galle I (1576–1650) (attribution by the Rijksmuseum: http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.114225) or
Cornelis Galle II (1615–1678) (attributed by the MFA, Boston: http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/christ-child-st-john-the-baptist-and-lamb-in-landscape-105674)

“The Infant Christ and the Infant John the Baptist Playing with the Lamb”, 1630–1650, published by Cornelis Galle I (1576–1650), after a woodcut of the same name by Christoffel Jegher (1596–1652/3), after Ruben’s painting formerly in the Palazzo Balbi or Palazzo Reale, Genoa (Rooses 185).

Engraving on wove paper lined with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet trimmed irregularly) 40 x 51.8 cm; (plate) 34 x 45 cm; (image borderline) 32 x 44 cm
Lettered on the plate below the image borderline in a line of Latin: "O Baptista ... clausus exultaras"; (at left below the line of Latin) "P. P. Rubbens delin."; (at right) "Corn. Galle excudit".
Based on the paper, this is a 19th century impression.

Hollstein 255; Schneevoogt 1873 85.92

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“The Infant Christ and the Infant John the Baptist playing with the lamb; landscape with Christ at right, St John at left and the lamb in between them, water-lilies and a frog in right foreground; after Christoffel Jegher who made a woodcut after Peter Paul Rubens”

Condition: faultless late impression that is crisp, well-inked and well-printed and with generous margins (trimmed slightly irregularly). The sheet is in generally in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing) but there are signs of handling in terms of marks at the lower right corner of the margin. The sheet has been laid upon a support sheet of fine archival washi paper.

I am selling this large engraving of superb craftsmanship embodying the spirit of the Mannerist period for AU$278 (currently US$215.89/EUR175.24/GBP156.40 at the time of posting this listing). Postage for this print is extra and will be the actual/true cost of shipping.

If you are interested in purchasing this exquisite engraving of timeless quality 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



Attribution of prints is far from easy. Mindful that the Museum of Fine Art (MFA) in Boston proposes that this print may have been executed by Cornelis Galle the Younger, whereas the Rijksmuseum proposes that it may have been executed by his father, Cornelis Galle the Elder, I wish that the true engraver would reveal himself.

Based solely on what I can see by comparing prints by these two master engravers, I believe that the selection of the real artist may not be that difficult. In terms of Galle the Elder (see the middle image detail), he evolved his subtly nuanced way of rendering forms from the slightly laboured style of his teacher and father, Philips Galle (see the upper image). There is a large stylistic leap, however, from Philips Galle to his grandson, Cornelis Galle II, in terms of using such stylistic attributes as dots—much loved by Galle Junior (see the lower image)—and a shift from conventionalised modelling of forms of the grandfather to a fascination with surface textures of his grandson.

If I were to choose which of the artists seems the more appropriate, I would not hesitate in nominating Cornelis Galle the Elder as the true engraver. My reason is simply that the rendering of the forms in this print is based more on the careful alignment of parallel lines that flow with the contours of the subjects portrayed—a hallmark of the great Cornelis Galle I—than with superficial textures. Moreover, the same leaning to showing “flow” results in Galle I’s prints having a light filled sheen to them that I don’t see the same way in Galle II’s prints.