Wednesday, 18 May 2016
Jean-Ferdinand Chaigneau (1830–1906).
“La Meule”, 1879 (Note: This print was selected by the artist to represent him at the Paris Salon of 1879).
Etching on thin laid paper, hand-signed by the artist in pencil (lower right).
Based on the unusually thin and translucent paper used for this print and that it is hand-signed, I presume that this is a proof state before lettering.
Size: (sheet) 23.6 x 29.7 cm; (plate marks, indistinct by still visible) 20.8 x 26.8; (borderline of image) 18.6 x 25.3 cm
Condition: rich and well-printed crisp image, on thin paper (not laid down) with margins, hand-signed by the artist. There is a significant broad scattering of a transparent residue (glue, oil or wax?) —possibly from previous mounting— that is clearly visible when the translucent paper is held to the light.
I am selling this exceedingly rare and very beautiful etching that is hand-signed in pencil by the artist nicknamed as "le Raphael des moutons" [the Raphael of the sheep] who, together with Charles Jacque, was the most highly regarded artist specialising in images of sheep for a total cost of AU$302 including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this major print by Chaigneau, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will email you a PayPal invoice.
This print exemplifies Chaigneau’s preoccupation with portraying sheep. Moreover, it demonstrates perfectly his skill in rendering sheep that in his lifetime earned him the rather grand nickname/title: "le Raphael des moutons" [the Raphael of the sheep]. Interestingly, Chaigneau also perceived that this particular print typified his interests so well that he chose it to represent him at the Paris Salon of 1879.
Chaigneau was celebrated by writers at the time in very poetic terms. For example, Camille Mauclair (1905) in” L’Art Décoratif” draws attention to “the tender, gray, intimate quality of his light, the way in which he bathes the contours, by the particular softness of his models” (Vol. 7:2, p. 44).