Edouard Manet, Child carrying a Platter, etching

Enfant portant un Plateau

Moreau-Nélaton 66, Guérin 15, Harris 28, Wilson-Bareau 28

etching and aquatint, 1861 (although J. Wilson-Bareau suggests rather 1867-9), on medium-fine yellowish Japon paper with wirelines, the 2nd state (of 3), a very fine impression with wide margins, a slight printing crease in the left margin, localized skinning on the reverse resulting from a fibrous inclusion in the paper, and traces of hinges from an old mount on the reverse, otherwise in excellent condition

P. 240x160mm., S. 366x262mm.

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

This charming print, which characterises an innovative freedom of line in Manet's graphic technique, corresponds to a derivative study based on one of the figures in the early painting Cavaliers espagnols (1859) that was subsequently used in the chiaroscuro background of Le Balcon (1868-9), and represents Manet's son, Léon Leenhoff.

It was never published in the artist's lifetime and, although the number of contemporary proofs is not known, may be considered as quite rare; the only known edition, that of Porcaboeuf, comprised only 12 impressions, on "vieux Japon à la forme" according to Guerin, while both Harris and Fisher note this edition as being on a heavy Japon paper. It is thus difficult to distinguish early proofs from those of the edition, especially as the 1st state proof in the Bibliothèque Nationale is on a similar fine yellowish Japon paper, and another impression from the Petiet collection that we were able to examine was indeed on a heavier handmade ivory Japon paper that better fits these descriptions.