Catherine Nue se
One of Suzanne Valadon's earliest prints, Catherine nue se coiffant
is also her first really accomplished soft-ground etching, and her meticulous
drypoint shading adds a volumetric effect to this "inner space" that
features one of her favorite models.
This is an exceptional early (working/trial?) proof, printed well before
the the Daragnès edition of 1932 (in which the fine drypoint shading is practically nonexistent). We have seen one other equivalent impression (right), with heavier inking and similar reddish-brown highlights, on buff paper, sold
at Christie's, New York, on November 1, 1988.
(Although Pétridès does not per se identify an early state of Cathernie Nue se coiffant, a parallel may be drawn with his discussion of E10, Adéle preparant le Tub et Ketty aux Bras Levés, for which he identifies a
1st state under a different number, E21 (Marcel Lecomte Collection, Paris),
characterised by richly drypoint shading in the background, and
printed with attention to fine detail...)
* The "Ingres"
watermark is in fact one part of a double watermark, to be found in the
lower register on full sheets of this medium-fine, somewhat waffly-textured, cream laid paper. The "Ingres" mark may be seen in the lower left corner, whereas the lower right bears the "L'Ecolier / C & F"
watermark. The full sheet measures 482 x 633 mm., and is of
particular interest insosfar as Suzanne Valadon apparently used this
paper for proofing her prints (e.g. the rare impression of the 1st
state of Ketty s'étirant, before the plate was cut down, sold by Jean-Louis Picard on June 13, 1996, and described thus :
mou et pointe-sèche, en noir bistré, avec teinte de fond, sur vergé
crème, filigrane «L'Ecolier C & F», du premier état avant coupure
du cuivre, très grandes marges."
There was also an equivalent annotated "Epreuve d'Artiste" impression of Ketty s'étirant, sold by Hauswedell & Nolte, Haburg, on June 6, 2012, with the corresponding "Ingres" watermark, described thus:
"Kaltnadelradierung u. Durchdruckverfahren Auf breitrandigem bräunlichem "Ingres"-Bütten."
See the discussion of our
impression of Fille aux Gros Seins et Femme Vieille, E24. As this sheet seems to have been
cut in two, like the present impresssion of Cathernie Nue se coiffant,
sheets are thus exceedingly rare and are of interest for art history,
especially as we know little abour Suzanne Valadon's working