Gallery of prints for sale

Tuesday 7 November 2023

Charles Waltner’s etching and drypoint, “When you become a flower... (Emile Goudeau)", 1905

Charles Waltner (aka Charles Albert Waltner) (1846–1925)

"When you become a flower... (Emile Goudeau)” (aka “Quand tu seras fleur devenue”), 1905, pencil-signed and inscribed “Bon à Tirer” proof (i.e., a proof of the highest quality designed as a benchmark for printers to use when pulling an edition) by the artist before lettering, printing and publication by the Société des Amis de l'Eau-forte (1897–c.1930); see

For those who may be unfamiliar with the French writer, Émile Goudeau (1849–1906), whose words are used in the title of this beautiful print, he is arguably most famous for founding the Hydropathes literary club in 1878. The mission of this club was to promote its fellow members’ literary and artistic pursuits and was funded by Goudeau with liquor (absinthe), rather than cash, as was appropriate for this bohemian society. The ten years that Goudeau mentored the Hydropathes is recorded in Goudeau's memoir, “Dix ans de bohème” (seeÉmile_Goudeau).

Etching and drypoint on fine Japanese paper, hand-signed and inscribed “Bon à Tirer”.

Size: (sheet) 35.7 x 25 cm; (plate) 20.1 x 41.5 cm.

Inscribed in pencil(?) below the image borderline at lower right: “Bon à Tirer/ Waltner”.

Lifetime proof-state (“Bon à Tirer”) impression before lettering for publication.

Note that the Cleveland Museum of Art holds and early (drypoint only) impression of this print:

Condition: a richly inked and well-printed impression with wide margins in a near pristine condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing.

I am selling this exceptionally rare and magnificently rich impression that is a hand-signed artist’s proof inscribed with the traditional notation, “Bon à Tirer”, that denotes this impression as the model upon which all future prints should match in an edition—in short, it is an impression that the artist considers to be “perfect”—by one of the major reproductive etchers of the nineteenth century, for the total cost of AU$285 (currently US$190.49/EUR172.36/GBP151.72 at the time of posting 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 highly experimental and very poetic portrait of a young woman—note the rich velvety burr of the drypoint lines capturing the luminously dark tones of the woman’s shawl and the contrast that these lines make with the delicate strokes modelling her gently smiling face—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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