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Wednesday 22 August 2018

Théophile Chauvel’s etching, “Le Bateau de Pêche”, 1879

Théophile Chauvel (aka Théophile Narcisse Chauvel) (1831–1909)
“Le Bateau de Pêche” (The Fishing Boat), 1879, after a painting by Constant Troyon (1810–1865) formerly in the collection of John W Wilson (as lettered on the plate), first published in “L'Art” (1880) and printed by François Liénard (fl.c.1860s–1880s), later published (with this impression) by Grands Magasins du Louvre, Paris. This plate was reissued in the compilation catalogue of around 60 prints, "Tableaux de premier ordre anciens et modernes composant la galerie de M. John W. Wilson", executed by Chauvel and other artists, as reproductive prints showcasing Wilson’s collection of paintings for the auction sale of his collection in 1881 (see the curator of the British Museum’s description of this publication:

Etching on cream laid paper with full margins (as published) and backed on a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 44.2 x 30.5 cm; (plate) 34.8 x 23.1 cm; (image borderline) 32 x 18.9 cm
Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) C. Troyon. pinx.”; (centre) “LE BATEAU DE PÊCHE / (Collection de Mr. John W. Wilson)”; (right) “Th.Chauvel. sc.”
Lettered in lower margin; (right) “Offert par les GRANDS MAGASINS DU LOUVRE. – PARIS”

IFF 62 (Inventaire du Fonds Français: Bibliothèque Nationale, Département des Estampes, Paris, 1930)

Condition: richly inked and well-printed impression with full margins in excellent condition (i.e. there are no holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing but there is a small [4 mm] closed tear at the lower edge and a handling mark on the right edge). The sheet is backed on a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this graphically strong image of a sailboat set against moonlight, for AU$142 in total (currently US$104.47/EUR89.88/GBP80.82 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 very poetic etching that I suspect Albert Pinkham Ryder would have loved if he had seen it, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

Tonight I had one of those strange cathartic moments when an inner troubling truth is revealed … and it was all because of this print! What happened was that I was making a coffee thinking about what I planned to write regarding this print and what makes it so special to me. After all, I bought the etching ten years ago and until now I have had no great urge to sell it, simply because I like it. At that moment I looked over towards my studio table and saw an Elioth Gruner etching (which I also love) resting there. Then, like a lightning strike, I instantly knew what I love in art: images where the subject is stationed in front of a light source— contre-jour compositions like the Gruner! Wow! To be honest I don’t know what this would mean to a psychiatrist but just knowing what makes me excited is wonderful. Now I think back I realise that I always seem to be painting into the light and love the way that I can’t really see a subject “properly”.

Regarding this print, Chauvel in reproducing Troyon’s painting did not have to be too concerned about the colour of Troyon’s painting as this image is ALL about the big and very dark shape of the sail boat set against moonlight. To my eyes, this image is so graphically strong that it’s like an iconic emblem that crystallises the essentials of what sailing is about (or at least for me): a big sail, moist breeze, rolling sea and blinding light.

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