Jacques Villon, On a Visit, drypoint engraving

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Ginestet & Pouillon 131

drypoint, 1905, on medium-weight ivory Japon paper, a fine proof impression, suffused with burr, the rare 2nd state (of 3), before the drypoint rework, and before the edition, with margins, signed lower right in pencil, with inherent paper defects (a thin fibrous inclusion in the upper left margin, and a vertical crease in the right margin, both well away from the platemark), a few tiny maculae of coloured inks, an irregular deckle edge below, slight soiling overall, the signature slightly rubbed, otherwise in good condition

P. 301x400mm., S. 455x585mm.

Provenance: the artist's studio

This charming print represents the artist's two sisters, Yvonne and Madeleine, and his penetrating treatment of expression relating to girlish childhood and nascent adolescence here finds its most delicate rendering, especially in the fine drypoint work on the faces.

The second state (not illustrated in the catalogue raisonné) shows "new drypoint work," notably the long strokes of shading around the young girl on the right, the sketching in of the chair and drapery in the centre background, and the burnishing of the repentirs for the position of the older girl's legs, which here are still almost completely black.

Ginestet & Pouillon specify that there were but a few proofs pulled, yet they also stipulate "aquatint in colour" as characteristic. While there are two registration marks on the left edge of the plate, indicating intent to colour, such proofs are exceedingly rare (see the Louis Carré sale catalogue, Drouot, June 1978, n° 44). The colour version in any case did not apparently meet with Villon's approval, as the third state edition of 30 is in black alone.