Gallery of prints for sale

Monday 18 March 2024

Paul Borel, “Sanary”, 1898

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

“Sanary” (aka “Sanary, Pilgrim at Rest”), 1898, a proof-state impression, signed, titled and dated in the plate before lettering for publication.

Etching with plate tone on buff coloured laid paper.

Size: (sheet) 30.5 x 40.7 cm; (plate) 24.9 x 34.8 cm.

Inscribed in plate: (lower left corner) “P Borel 1898/ Sanary var”.

Condition: a richly inked, strong, and near faultless impression. Beyond a few minor marks in the margin, the sheet is in an excellent condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions or significant stains.

The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Saint-Étienne Métropole offer a brief description of this print:

I understand that the title of this etching, “Sanary”, is the popular name for the seaside region, Sanary-sur-Mer, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of Southeastern France.

Regarding the figure at left—a resting pilgrim holding his staff—note that I have previously listed a related etching by Paul Borel also featuring a pilgrim: “The Pilgrim Near the Tree”, c.1880 ( Both of these prints are underpinned by the artist’s deep religious faith which led him to paint murals about the life of Abbot Vianney at the Curé of Ars and to decorate the Chapelle de Saint-Thomas d'Aquin in Oullins ('Aquin.jpg)—a mammoth twenty-year project.

For those unfamiliar with this startlingly fine etcher (as exemplified by this wonderful print), Paul Borel was introduced to etching by his cousin, Jean Jacques de Boissieu (1736–1810), and the transfer of skills is clear. Borel is also well-connected to the artists of the Barbizon School (notably Charles Daubigny [1817–1878]) and the shared joy of working directly from nature is also very apparent. What I find especially appealing about Borel’s etchings is the merging of close observation of his chosen subject (e.g., his rendering of trees and rocks look believably solid and “real”) with the added dimension of imbuing scenes with an emotional charge—in this print, for instance, the broken and tumbled rocks and the seaward leaning tree tenuously anchored to the hillside contrast with the vision of calm in the sea and sky beyond, suggesting (at least to my way of looking) a feeling of unease. In lots of ways, this perfect merging of reality with an emotional underpinning is the key that makes Borel a marvellous artist; an artist who (I think) compares well with Adolphe Appian (1818–1898).

I am selling this marvellous proof-state impression of an exceptionally rare etching for the total cost of AU$277 (currently US$181.89/EUR167/GBP142.83 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 strong and extraordinarily beautiful etching, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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