Portrait d'Edmond de Goncourt
By Félix Bracquemond
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Reference: Beraldi 54, 8th state (of 9).
Edition size: 175
Image size: 51,2 x 34 cm
Sheet size: 65 x 48 cm
Price: 4500 (incl. taxes)
[Portrait of Edmond de Goncourt]
Etchings and tools, 512 x 340 mm. Beraldi 54, 8th state (of 9).
Superb impression of the 8th state, before the title, printed on japan paper.
In very good condition. Full margins.
Bracquemond engraved the Portrait of Edmond de Goncourt in 1881. This portrait wasn't commissioned but was “a willing gesture by the engraver and as much a manifesto on his part as it is a homage to the model.” (Bouillon, p. 24)
Bracquemond had been a friend of the writer since 1856 and offered in 1879 to draw his portrait: “ I would like to make a big engraved portrait of you. It has to be worthy of you: you are a patron; as for me, I would like to show that I am capable of more than just decorating the lip of china plates.”
The preparatory drawing, in charcoal and stump (currently in the Musée du Louvre), required the writer to sit for extended periods of time in his house in Auteuil. It was exhibited in April 1880 at the Fifth Impressionist Exhibition. Bracquemond then set to work on the engraving, which took several months, during which he printed eight consecutive states. The print run for the final state was done by Salmon in 1881.
Beraldi mentions 25 proofs on parchment and 150 proofs on Japan paper printed from the 8th state and signed by hand by Bracquemond. Jean-Paul Bouillon notes that the engraving was reprinted in the early 20th century, and that Bracquemond asked the printer Alfred Porcabeuf to engrave the title EDMOND DE GONCOURT onto the copper plate, as well as a mention of the artist and the printer, in 1910 (this represents a ninth state). The copper plate is currently in a private collection.
Reference: Bracquemond/Goncourt, Jean-Paul Bouillon, catalogue of the exhibition organised at the Musée du Dessin et de l'Estampe originale in Gravelines in 2004, on the occasion of the acquisition of 7 progressive states of the engraved portrait in 1999.