Georges Rouault, Nuptials, etching


from Réincarnations du Père Ubu

Chapon & Rouault 24c

etching and aquatint, 1918, on medium-weight cream Japon paper, the 3rd state (of 4), a superb trial proof impression before the 1928 reworking and before the first Vollard edition of 1932, with very wide margins, some slight overall light (or time?) staining and soiling, a few handling creases well away from the subject, otherwise in very good condition

P. 240x160mm., S. 366x262mm.

Rouault's first systematic and meticulously demanding attempt at printmaking, the illustration of Réincarnations du Père Ubu was a project undertaken by Ambroise Vollard in 1918 on a theme loosely derived from Alfred Jarry's work; initially entitled Ubu aux Colonies and even Noir et Blanc, based on Vollard's experiences in his native Reunion, it remained unpublished until much later, after Rouault definitively reworked the plates in 1928.

As Chapon (1978: I, 64) notes, "Rouault's engravings portrayed a far more powerful world than the caricatural political community presented by Vollard." This particular print is one of the most forcefully poignant in the series, and the present impression is of an exceptional refinement when compared to those pulled for the edition.

The size of the initial 1918-1919 print run (which was only discovered after Vollard's death) is unknown, especially as the "circumstances of the war" led to the destruction of a certain number of the proofs, but appears to be quite limited.