Edouard Manet, Philip IV, King of Spain, etching

Philippe IV, Roi d'Espagne, d'après Velasquez

Moreau-Nélaton 6, Guérin 7, Harris 15, Fisher 13, Wilson-Bareau 22

etching, drypoint, and aquatint, 1860 (according to Guérin) or, more probably, 1862, on medium-weight Hollande laid paper, with the Hallines watermark, the 4th (?) state* (of 8), before all letters (the signature and address), a superb impression, with rich burr on the drypoint rework (notably on the foliage in the background and the dog), a rare trial proof, prior to the first edition (Cadart & Chevalier 1862, i.e., the 6th state with letters), with wide margins, an expertly repaired 50mm diagonal tear in the upper left margin, well outside the platemark, traces of an old hinge mount along the lateral edge on the reverse, otherwise in excellent condition

P. 355x238mm., S. 533x362mm.

Provenance: the Henri M. Petiet collection, with the HMP wetstamp on the reverse (not cited in Lugt)

In May 1862, the portrait of Philippe IV en Chasseur, then attributed to Velazquez, was purchased by the Louvre. Translating Manet's infatuation with Spanish themes, and notably the works of Velazquez and Goya, this print reveals an attempt to freely render tonal values, an approach to broken contour in modelling (notably in the legs), and a projection of the single figure onto the pictorial plane, set against an "impressionistic" linear ground.

According to Wilson-Bareau, this is one of Manet's finest prints; it is further one of the three etchings that Manet exhibited in the Salon des Refusés in 1863, along with Les Petits Cavaliers and Lola de Valence, showing his great satisfaction with this work.

* This state is somewhat problematic. Moreau-Nélaton, who saw fit to collect one of each of the five states then known of this important print, only identified three states before letters, whereas Guérin subdivides his predecessor's 3rd state (followed by the later cataloguers), distinguishing a 4th state of rework on the dog's foot and the foreground below, yet after the 3rd state darkening of the foliage and trunk.

Guérin however cites no impressions of his new 3rd state and refers solely to an impression sold in 1933. If one compares his mediocre illustration of this state with that of Harris and Fisher, i.e. the Lucas collection proof from Baltimore (and none of these sources shows the fourth state!), there do not appear to be any significant differences. Yet they also appear to concord with the present impression, as well as the "third" state proof from the Moreau-Nélaton collection in the Bibliothèque Nationale (i.e. Guérin's 4th state).