Wednesday, 6 July 2016
Charles Jacque’s etching, “Le Printemps”
Charles Jacque (aka Charles Émile Jacque) (1813–94)
“Le Printemps” [spring], 1864, printed by Sarazin (1846–80; fl. c.) from a series of twenty-four related prints
Etching and roulette on chine-collé on thick wove white paper
Size: (sheet) 43.5 x 30.8 cm; (plate) 20.4 x 15.4 cm; (image) 16.1 x 11.5 cm
Inscribed on the plate below the image borderline: (lower left) “CH. JACQUE INV. SC” / “No.3-3”; (lower centre) “LE PRINTEMPS”; (lower right) “IMP. SARAZIN PARIS”
State iii (of iv) (before the head of the girl was redone and the addition of a tree branch above the heads of the couple)
Guiffrey (Guiffrey, J-J, L'Oeuvre de Charles Jacque: catalogue de ses eaux-fortes et pointes sèches, Paris, Mlle Lemaire, Éditeur, 1866) 179 (undescribed state, between II and III?) (; IFF (Inventaire du Fonds Français: Bibliothèque Nationale, Département des Estampes, Paris, 1930) 282
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Family of peasants standing against a fence and watching a hen and her chicks; at their feet, a dog barks at the birds.” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3501791&partId=1&searchText=charles+Jacque+Le+Printemps&page=1)
Condition: crisp and well-printed delicate impression with wide margins (as published). The sheet is in excellent condition for its age (i.e. no stains, holes, tears, folds or foxing) but there is light waviness and a dot of wear on the male figure's trousers.
I am selling this superbly executed etching from one of the leading luminaries of the Barbizon movement for a total cost of [...] including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this exquisite etching displaying technical skills that only a master possesses, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
This print is no longer available
Although Jacque was far from being a young man when executed this etching, the image with all its fine detail and romanticism—perhaps even superfluous detail and cloying romanticism—exemplifies an early phase in the artist’s artistic development. In his mature works, Jacque moved to a more personal style of emphatic and seemingly unconstrained free strokes.
Beyond the amazing control of the etching needle (and roulette) that this print showcases, especially with regard to capturing the luminous effect of mottled light filtering through trees, the portrayed chickens that the young man points towards were an important part of Jacque’s life. Not only did he breed chickens, but he also wrote a book about the technical issues involved in their breeding which, according to FL Leipnik (1924) in “A History of French Etching”, “is still quoted as an authority” (p. 76).