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Friday 23 June 2023

Paul Borel’s etching, “Alpine Landscape Around Isère”, c1880

Paul Borel (aka André Marie Paul Borel) (1828–1913)

“Alpine Landscape Around Isère” (descriptive title only and forgive me if I am wrong about the location; the title proposed by the original dealer from whom I purchased this etching is “Paysage de Montagne” [Mountain Landscape]), c1880, a proof-state impression that is unsigned and before lettering with title and publication details, printed in cream chine collé on heavy wove paper.

Size: (sheet) 25.4 x 31.7 cm; (plate) 15.9 x 24 cm; (chine collé) 14.5 x 22.2 cm; (image borderline) 12.8 x 21.4 cm.

For those unfamiliar with this startlingly fine etcher (as exemplified in this wonderful etching), Paul Borel was introduced to etching by his cousin Jean Jacques de Boissieu (aka Jean Jacques de Boissieux) (1736–1810) and the outcome of this connection in terms of transferred skills is clear. Borel is also well-connected to the artists of the Barbizon School (notably Charles Daubigny [aka Charles François Daubigny] [1817–1878]) and the shared joy of working directly on the etching plate is also very apparent. What I find especially appealing about Borel’s etchings is the merging of informed observation of his chosen subject (e.g., his portrayed rocks look solid and “real” and the cascading of water is believable) with the added dimension of revealing a personal mindset—in this print, for instance, the formation of the rocks might be seen as nature’s claws and the pine trees on the right as expressions of upward moving transcendent energies. In lots of ways, this perfect merging of reality with personal response is the key that makes Borel a marvellous artist; an artist who (I think) compares well with Adolphe Appian (1818–1898).

Condition: a richly inked, strong, and near faultless impression in a near pristine condition.

I am selling this marvellous proof-state etching (unsigned and before lettering with title and publication details) that is so rare I have been unable to find another copy of it online, for the total cost of AU$269 (currently US$179.80/EUR162.68/GBP143.21 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.

If you are interested in purchasing this remarkably fine and luminous etching, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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