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Friday 22 December 2017

Ignace Duvivier’s etching, “Landscape in Oval with Travelers by Campfire”, 1800

Ignace Duvivier (aka Ignaz Duvivier; Joseph Ignace Duvivier; Ignace Vivier; Ignace "du" Vivier; Matthäus Ignaz [Edler von] Vivier) (1758–1832)

“Landscape in Oval with Travelers by Campfire”, 1800, from the series of four oval landscape etchings, "Divers sujets de paisages dessiné et gravé par I. Viviers 1800". Note: the title page to the series is signed, titled and dated (1800).

Etching on cream wove paper.
Size: (sheet) 20.5 x 29.4 cm; (plate) 14.4 x 23.2 cm; (oval borderline) 13.9 x 19 cm

Condition: richly inked, crisp impression—undoubtedly a lifetime impression based on the superb quality of the printed lines—with generous margins and in very good condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions and stains, but there is faint foxing in the margins).

I am selling this very romantic image, freely drawn and using the chiaroscuro lighting harking back to the tradition of Rembrandt for the total cost of [deleted] including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

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

This print has been sold

At the time that this etching was executed at the close of the 18th century, there were the beginnings of the “battle” that was to gather force between printmakers who valued engraving and those that favoured etching. In many ways the disagreements were significant as they reflected the decline of the Art Academies by the mid-19th century with their reverence for Raphael and engraving and the re-evaluation of Rembrandt and the merits of etching.

The reason that I mention this “battle” is because Duvivier is clearly engaged in the same debate between the practices of engraving and etching in this print. In his treatment of the sky, for instance, Duvivier employs a visual device usually reserved for engraving: using ruled horizontal lines to portray the tone of the sky with curved parallel strokes to give three-dimensional form to clouds. By contrast, the rest of the composition is largely executed using freely laid lines typifying the approach of the etcher. To my eyes, this leap between the treatment of the sky with its disciplined rigor of tightly controlled horizontal lines and the treatment of the foreground with its seemingly immediate, loosely drawn—sketchy—marks crystallises Duvivier’s dilemma.  

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