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CAMILLE PISSARRO Paysanne donnant à manger à un enfant.
Etching printed in dark brownish black, 1874. 125x121 mm; 4 7/8x4 3/4 inches, full margins. Fourth state (of 4). One of only 2 or 3 impressions in this state, from a total of approximately only 15 lifetime impressions in all four states combined. Inscribed "No. 1 Epreuve d'état" in pencil, lower left. A superb, evenly-printed impression of this extremely scarce, early etching.
The dozen or so etchings Pissarro executed before Degas introduced him to more experimental printmaking techinques around 1879 are all of a more traditonal manner and style that recall prints from the 1860s by Barbizon painter-etchers such as Charles-François Daubigny, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and, in this genre scene etching of a mother and child in an interior setting, Jean-François Millet.
An impression of this subject in the first state once belonged to the French collector, Dr. Paul F. Gachet (and subsequently his son, P.L.L. Gachet), who treated Vincent van Gogh at Auvers-sur-Oise in 1890 (Pissarro had recommended Dr. Gachet to Van Gogh); it sold at Swann, March 7, 2013, sale 2306, lot 125.
Pissarro added aquatint to the plate in the second state and progressively darkened the interior through the third and fourth (final) states, so that ultimately the glow from the fireplace at right illuminates the two figures and casts shadows on the floor and wall to the left. In this first state, the pure etching bears it's closest resemblance to Millet's etchings. Delteil 12.