Thursday, 19 April 2018
Félix Buhot’s etching (with aquatint, roulette and drypoint), “Le Petit Enterrement” (The Little Funeral), 1878
Félix Buhot (aka Félix Hilaire Buhot; Tohub [Buhot’s name in reverse that the artist signed some of his earlier plates]) (1847–1898)
“Le Petit Enterrement” (The Little Funeral) (aka “Sous l'averse” [Under the shower]), 1878, published in 1902.
Etching, aquatint, roulette and drypoint on cream wove paper printed in brown ink with full margins as published.
Size: (sheet) 21.2 x 30.3 cm; (plate) 8.7 x 11.3 cm
Inscribed on plate with the artist’s “owl” monogram at upper left.
State ii (of ii) with the addition of aquatint toning
Bourcard 1899 154.II (Gustave Bourcard 1899, “Catalogue descriptif de son [Félix Buhot] oeuvre grave”, H Floury, Paris)
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Rainy street with in the foreground two figures sharing an umbrella and running towards a funeral procession following a coach; second state, with plate cut in height, some aquatint work, and plate rebitten”
Condition: faultless, well-printed impression with wide margins in pristine condition.
I am selling this small print that Buhot valued so highly that he sometimes wrote notes to friends on some impressions along the prints' margins, for AU$422 in total (currently US$328.94/EUR265.95/GBP231.30 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this superb print exemplifying Buhot’s notion of his prints as being “paintings on copper,” please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
This print has been sold
The drawing and print dealers, C & J Goodfriend, offers the following marvellous insights into this delicately poetic print:
“Impressions of this print exist in three different colors: brown, which is common and almost never stamped or signed (a published edition); black, which is scarce; and blue, which is the rarest and most strikingly effective. According to an article on Buhot by Philippe Burty, the Boulevard de Clichy, where Buhot lived, was, on one side of the street, filled with buildings of five of six stories containing artists’ studios. The opposite side of the street was lined with undertakers, tombstone makers and sellers of funereal goods. So what Buhot frequently saw when he emerged from his studio was a funeral, sufficient reason for him to have painted, drawn and etched such scenes. The two figures in the foreground are also to be seen in his Retour des Artistes aux Champs Elysées of the preceding year, a sample of how elements of his observation or imagination wander from one image to another.”
From a personal standpoint, what I find especially interesting about this small print is the restraint that Buhot shows in what he doesn’t portray. For instance, I see this composition as being a “man’s viewpoint.” What I mean by this rather curious term is that men tend to funnel their view to what is directly ahead of them without being overly aware of peripheral details (i.e. in this composition the viewer’s attention is focused on what is happening at the centre of the scene but not on subject matter at the edges). I know this to be true as my cook’s jaw often drops with incomprehension that I have an inability to find things in the fridge whereas my wonderful cook can see the whole contents of the same fridge in a glance (sigh).