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Saturday, 24 August 2019

Paul Helleu's drypoint, “Ève”, c1895


Paul Helleu (aka Paul César François Helleu) (1859–1927)

“Ève” (as titled in Robert de Montesquiou’s catalogue [cat. no. XXXVIII]), c1895, signed in the plate (“Helleu”) and inscribed with the name “Pihan”—a Parisian confectioner who employed artists for advertising his firm suggesting that this print may have been designed as a gift for good customers. The subject may be the renowned La Belle Époque actress and later Catholic penitent, Ève Lavallière (aka Eugénie Marie Pascaline Fenoglio), contemplating a piece of confectionery, or the portrait may show Madame Doriac examining a peach as Magnin Wedry auctions reference the title as, “Madame Doriac Regardant une Peche” (number PS 1164 in the archives of Paul Helleu): http://www.mw-encheres.com/html/fiche.jsp?id=5603577&np=&lng=fr&npp=&ordre=&aff=&r=.

Drypoint with dot roulette printed in black and sanguine coloured ink on wove paper trimmed close to the plate mark and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 19.9 x 12.2 cm.
Inscribed on the plate: (lower left) “Helleu”; (lower centre) “Pihan”.
Montesquiou (1913) XXXVIII (Robert de Montesquiou 1913, “Paul Helleu, peintre et graveur”, Paris, H. Floury, p, 255, cat. no. XXXVIII [38]).
This publication may be viewed online and downloaded free of charge from archive.org:

See also a variant copy of this drypoint before the addition of the confectioner’s name at Christie’s auction (March 2018):

Condition: a richly inked and near faultless impression printed with strong drypoint burr. The sheet is trimmed close to the platemark and is in good condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions or significant stains), but there is uneven age toning (i.e. darkening) to the paper. The sheet is laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper.

I am selling this small jewel of a colour drypoint exemplifying the spirit of La Belle Époque age for the total cost of AU$470 (currently US$317.65/EUR284.90/GBP258.53 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this rare and sensitively executed drypoint showing the artist’s confident mastery of this demanding medium, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold










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