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Friday 13 August 2021

Lionel Aristide Lecouteux’s etching, “Saison d'Octobre”, 1879, after Jules Bastien-Lepage

Lionel Aristide Lecouteux (aka Lionel Le Couteux) (1847–1909)

“Saison d'Octobre” (Season of October), 1879, after the painting by Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848–1884), “Saison d'Octobre” (aka “October”; “La Récolte Des Pommes de Terre”; “The Potato Harvest”), 1878, shown in the Paris Salon in 1879 (no.164) and now in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV inv. no. 3678-3]), printed in Paris by Alfred Salmon (aka Adolphe Ardail; Alfred Fortuné Salmon) (fl. 1863–1894) and published in the periodical, “L'Art”, vol. XVII, in 1879 to accompany and article by Eugène Véron (see:

Regarding Bastine-Lepage’s painting, the NGV offers the following commentary:

“October was painted at the artist’s native village of Damvillers, in the Meuse Valley to the northeast of Paris. Here, inspired by the example of Millet and Courbet, Bastien-Lepage had planned to paint rural life as he knew it, celebrating its hardships as well as the inherent dignity of the peasants themselves. He particularly despised those city painters whose sentimental views of rustic life confirmed their ignorance of it, but whose works continued to fill the annual Salons” (

Etching with pale plate tone on cream laid paper with wide margins as published, backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 29.6 x 43.2 cm; (plate) 25.5 x 27.7 cm; (image borderline) 22 x 23.5 cm.

Inscribed with open letters in plate within the image borderline: (lower left corner) “J Bastien Lepage”.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: (left) “Bastien Lepage pinx.”; (centre) “SAISON D'OCTOBRE”; (right) Le Couteux sc/ Imp. A. Salmon”.

Lettered state for (or prior to?) publication before the addition of the text above the image borderline: “Salon de 1879” (see BM inv. no. 1880,0214.165).

Condition: a well-printed impression showing no sign of wear to the printing plate with generously wide margins (as published). There is an abraded line of thinness below the text on the left and above the image at centre (possibly the sheet was bumped?) and there is surface dustiness, otherwise the sheet is in good condition with no tears, holes, folds, losses, significant stains or foxing and is laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this remarkable translation into line of all the textures, details and subtle tonal contrasts of Bastien-Lepage’s huge painting, for AU$198 (currently US$145.36/EUR123.80/GBP105.30 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 ultra fine and very beautiful etching—note that the slightly grainy/broken lines rendering the faces may be the result of Lecouteux’s use of nitric acid to bite his plates; an effect caused when bubbles formed during the etching process “interrupt” the process of biting a line cleanly—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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