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Tuesday 24 July 2018

Auguste Feyen-Perrin’s etching, “Vanneuse” (Winnower), c1875

Auguste Feyen-Perrin (aka François Auguste Feyen-Perrin; François Nicolas Augustin Feyen-Perrin) (1826–1888)

“Vanneuse” (Winnower), c1875, printed by Alfred Salmon (aka Alfred Fortuné Salmon) (fl.1863–1894)

Etching on thick white wove paper with wide margins
Size: (sheet) 32.7 x 23.3 cm; (plate) 16.8 x 10.6 cm; (image borderline) 13.5 x 7.6 cm
Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) “Feyen-Perrin del. et sc.”; (centre) “VANNEUSE”; (right) "Imp.A.Salmon.”
See details about this print at Les Musée de la Ville de Paris:

Condition: faultless impression in pristine condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains, foxing or any signs of handling) with wide margins.

I am selling this rare etching (I have only been able to locate one copy of it in any public collection) in pristine condition for AU$154 (currently US$114.32/EUR97.64/GBP86.91 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

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

This print has been sold

Like many of Feyen-Perrin’s etchings this print is related to an oil painting of the same composition. The artist’s choice of subject—here a winnower—leaned towards images of working folk especially those near the sea. In this print, for example, I suspect that the far distance portrayed with horizontal lines may be the ocean rather than fields. Feyen-Perrin’s interest, however, was not simply depicting their labour with objectively cool eyes. Instead, his fascination is similar to that of Millet in showing rural work as noble labour worthy of respect.

Interestingly, Philip Gilbert Hammerton (1876) in his justifiably famous “Etching & Etchers” (printed in lots of editions) views the portrayed workers in Feyen-Perrin’s etchings as “rather melancholy” (p. 226) and proposes that the artist “has much natural sympathy for the pathos of hard life, especially as it touches women” (ibid). From my way of looking at this particular print, I see this lady in her engagement with letting the breeze blow away the chaff from the grain as all about freeze framing the act so that it becomes an endless iconic moment.

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