Aquatint and etching printed in black on cream laid, 1879. 160x212 mm; 6 1/4x8 1/2 inches, full margins. Fifth state (of 6). One of approximately only 4 or 5 impressions in this state, from a total of approximately only 20 lifetime impressions in all six states combined. Inscribed "5e état" in pencil, lower left. Ex-collection Henri M. Petiet, Paris, with his ink stamp verso (see Lugt 2021a). A brilliant, proof-like impression of this extremely scarce Impressionist print, with all the fine details distinct, with crisp plate edges and with fingerprints in the margin.
Like La Masure (see following lot) this is one of Pissarro's more experimental Impressionist etchings, produced during a period of intense creativity while working with Degas. According to Shapiro, "During this period of his close association with Degas, Pissarro's prints were a combination of etching processes. Along with soft-ground, aquatint, drypoint and simple etched lines, he also incorporated acid accidents and printing imperfections into the design of the print. The variety of techniques is so individualistic and unconventional that it is difficult to analyze the order of procedures . . . The prints of these brief years are triumphs of printmaking, chracterized by shimmering surfaces that show varying degress of light, yet the unusual and seemingly spontaneous effects were the result of complex procedures. As the workshop environment that Degas created gradually dissolved, Pissarro was less inclined to execute his plates in such a painstaking way. he became more interested in employing a broader range of technical means." Delteil 19.