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Monday, 6 July 2020

Jules Jacquemart’s etching, “La mouche et l'écureuil (fable à faire)”, 1862


Jules Jacquemart (aka Jules Ferdinand Jacquemart) (1837–1880)

La mouche et l'écureuil (fable à faire)” [BM title] (aka “L’Écurueil  et la Mouche?” [inscribed on plate]), 1862, printed by Auguste Delâtre (aka Auguste Marie Delâtre) (1822–1907) and published in Paris by A. Cadart & F. Chevalier (fl.1861–1863) as plate 34 in the Society of Aquafortistes’ 1862–63 portfolio, “Eaux-Fortes Modernes.”

Regarding the curiously interesting subject, the distinguised print dealers, C & J Goodfriend, offer the following proposal: “Is it another form of a Vanitas? Or was he [Jacquemart] simply interested in delineating the textures and colors of the fur and a dead squirrel gave a far better opportunity than a live one? But then, why the fly? The ultimate question is: what is the significance of the question mark at the end of the title? Or is that a contribution of the typesetter – who didn’t know how to spell L’Écureuil?” (http://www.drawingsandprints.com/CurrentExhibition/detail.cfm?ExhibitionID=11&Exhibition=42).

Etching cream-coloured chine collé on thick wove paper with wide margins.
Size: (sheet) 33.2 x 50.7 cm; (plate) 24.2 x 31.9 cm; (chine collé/image borderline) 19.1 x 30.7 cm.
Numbered on plate within the image borderline (upper-right) “34”.
Lettered on plate below the image borderline (left)  “J. Jacquemart sculpt.”; (centre) “L’ÉCURUEIL ET LA MOUCHE?/ Paris Publié par A. CADART & F. CHEVALIER, Éditeurs, Rue Richelieu, 66.”; (right) “Imp. Delâtre, St. Jacques, 303, Paris.”
State iv (of iv) with the addition of the publication details.

Béraldi 330 (Vol. IX); Bailly-Herzberg 34; Gonse 330

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“A (dead?) squirrel stretched out on a floor, and on the right a fly”

Condition: richly inked and well-printed impression in very good condition but there are spots of foxing (e.g. a light brown spot and smaller flecks in the lower margin and more spots visible verso).

I am selling this superb etching that invites the idea that this is not simply a sensitively rendered study of a squirrel and a fly, but rather a visual prompt to contemplate the possible relationships of the dead squirrel with a fly—for example, is the relaionship about the inevitability of death (i.e. a vanitas image)? or is the relationship about perceiving life within death?—for AU$330 (currently US$229.79/EUR203.55/GBP183.88 at the time of posting this print) 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 technically outstanding and visually intriguing still-life of a squirrel—perhaps a Eurasian red squirrel?— seemingly animated in its death accompanied by a housefly, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.











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