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Friday 27 November 2020

Omer Bouchery’s etching, “Nuit Maudite”, 1922

Omer Bouchery (1882–1962)

“Nuit Maudite” (Cursed Night), 1922, illustration to Kermario’s (pseud. Barthélemy Saurel) “Ombres et Clartés” (Shadows and Clarities), featuring 26 etchings by Omer Bouchery, published by Librairie Dorbon-Ainé (1894–1954) in Paris and printed by Henri Braun (early 1900s).

Etching on wove paper with printed text verso and recto with full margins and centrefold as published.

Size: (sheet) 24.8 x 32.8 cm; (plate) 17.5 x 11.5 cm; (image borderline) 11.9 x 8.7 cm.

This etching illustrates Kermario’s poem “Nuit Maudite” (Cursed Night) printed at right:


On croit voir d'étranges fantômes, [We think we see strange ghosts,]

Immobiles, les bras tendus,           [Motionless, arms outstretched,]

Entourés de nombreux pendus.     [Surrounded by many hanged.]

Évoquer farfadets et gnomes.        [Evoke leprechauns and gnomes.]


C'est le gibet fatal, hideux               [It is the fatal, hideous gallows]

Avec ses crocs patibulaires            [With its sinister fangs]

Et ses cadavres légendaires           [And his legendary corpses]

Déchiquetés, croulants, affreux!      [Shredded, crumbling, awful!]


Autour de l'horrible édifice,              [Around the horrible building,]

Les sorcières, quand vient minuit,   [Witches, when midnight comes,]

Rôdent, nombreuses et sans bruit,  [Prowl, numerous and silent,]

Sous la forme la plus propice.          [In the most auspicious form.]


Tantôt un animal velu                        [Sometimes a hairy animal]

Glisse, sournoisement agile,             [Glide, slyly agile,]

S'insinuant, comme un reptile,          [Creeping in like a reptile]

Par le joint d'un ais vermoulu.            [By the joint of a worm-eaten board.]

The description of this publication printed verso offers the following interesting insights:

(Transl.) “This book is that of a soul that dark forebodings, soon followed by immense pain, seem at first to push towards the abyss.  He moves us by the description of certain terrifying visions.  Kermario, in verses which resonate like the sonorous syllables of his name, makes pass there, before our eyes, strange scenes in powerfully coloured and always very impressive paintings, which the illustrator Omer Bouchery, with his great talent, set in his admirable series of etchings.”

Condition: richly inked impression with full margins (and accompanying printed text) as published. Beyond a light crease at upper left margin and light signs of handling, the sheet is in an excellent condition with no tears, holes, abrasions, stains or foxing.

I am selling this macabre but visually riveting image illustrating an equally dark poem (shown on the right) for AU$225 (currently US$165.92/EUR139.11/GBP124.55 at the time of this listing) including Express Mail (EMS) 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 graphically strong etching, 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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