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Thursday 12 December 2019

Pierre Mallet's etching, "Four figures in Grass at the Edge of a Marsh", c.1880

Pierre Mallet (1836–1898)
“Four figures in Grass at the Edge of a Marsh with Tall Trees and a Distant Building at Left” (descriptive title only), c.1880, pencil signed artist’s proof before lettering with publication details.
I understand that Pierre Mallet was trained in etching—this is easily seen by his knowledge and sensitivity in the use of different depths of etched lines to produce a full range of tones—but he is better known as a porcelain painter—this too is clear in his avoidance of outlines and his painterly play of breaking broad fields of tone, such as the background screen of trees, with flecks of light and dark to give luminosity and sparkle. Thankfully, his skill was recognised in his lifetime as in the 1881, “The Pottery Gazette”, Vol. 5, No. 48 (1 June, 1881), advises its readers that his porcelain paintings have such a “depth of tone and colour, and delicacy of workmanship” that his works are “one of the best specimens of china painting that we have ever seen" (p. 489). Although I do not know the setting for the scene depicted in this etching, to my eyes it has strong connections to the romantic leanings of Corot.
Etching on fine cream coloured wove (Japon) paper, pencil signed by the artist and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 63.2 x 43.2 cm; (approx. plate) 50.4 x 35.7 cm; (image borderline) 48.1 x 30 cm.
Inscribed on plate within the image borderline: (lower left corner) “P MALLET”.
Condition: richly inked faultless impression in pristine condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, losses, stains, foxing or signs of use) with generous margins, laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper.
I am selling this sensitively executed very large hand-signed in pencil, proof state etching for AU$232 in total (currently US$160.58/EUR143.66/GBP119.18 at the time of 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 huge etching exemplifying the romantic movement of the 19th century that perceived the landscape as “a place of refreshment and recreation”—to borrow a phrase from John D Barrow’s (1995) “The Artful Universe”, p. 32—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
This print has been sold

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