Monday, 30 May 2016
Adolphe Martial Potémont (1828–83) (aka Adolphe Martial and Adolphe Martial- Potémont)
“Vieux Chênes au Bas-Bréau” [old oak trees in Bas-Bréau—a section of Fontainebleau forest], Plate 11, 1878, published by Alfred Cadart (1828–75) in “L'Eau-Forte”
Etching on wove paper
Size: (sheet) 38 x 34.7 cm; (plate) 31 x 26 cm; (image) 29.5 x 24.5 cm
Inscribed with the artists initials/monogram at the lower left edge of the image and lettered below the image: (lower left) “A. P. Martial. del. et sc.”; (lower centre) “VIEUX CHÊNES AU BAS-BRÉAU”; (lower right) “Vve A. Cadart Edit Imp. 56 Bard Haussmann Paris."
(See the description of this print at the British Museum: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1350828&partId=1&searchText=vieux+chenes+au+Bas-Breau&people=115713&page=1)
Condition: marvellously rich and well-inked impression with good margins. The sheet has glue stains in the margins (recto) but is otherwise in good condition (i.e. there are no tears, foxing or blemishes beyond the glue marks).
I am selling this magnificent image of ancient oaks in the Fontinebleau Forest made famous by the Barbizon school of artists for the total cost of AU$132 (currently US$94.81/EUR85.13/GBP64.85 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 exemplifying the spirit of the Barbizon School, please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
I purchased this print many years ago for the simple reason: it was beautiful—stunningly beautiful! I then sought to acquire more prints by the artist with the mistaken idea that his other prints would be equally richly worked and gorgeous. Sadly, I discovered that his other images were not so romantic. Indeed, I was somewhat shocked to discover that his earlier work, featuring mainly architectural views, matched what FL Leipnik in his unreserved assessment of artists in “A History of French Etching from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day” (1924) describes as “indifferent etching and lack of feeling …” (p. 125).
Regardless of what may be seen as emotional dryness of his earlier prints (e.g. his series of 300 etchings of Paris published in three volumes between 1862 and 1866 and his series of 12 etchings of “The Women of Paris during the War”), this particular print along with another landscape etching, “La Montée”, earned the praise of Leipnik who perceived it as having “incomparably greater merit” (ibid).