Apr 18, 2024 - Sale 2666

Sale 2666 - Lot 259

Estimate: $ 7,000 - $ 10,000
Under the Horse Chestnut Tree.

Color aquatint and drypoint on antique cream laid paper, 1896-97. 403x287 mm; 15⅞x11⅜ inches, wide margins. Fourth state (of 4), with full colors. Edition of approximately 45. Published by L'Estampe Nouvelle, Paris. The proprietary name Adriaan Rogge with a crowned coat-of-arms watermark. A very good, well-inked impression, inked in the manner of a monotype, with strong colors.

Born in Philadelphia into a well-to-do family, Cassatt (1844-1926) spent most of her adult life in Europe (Paris mainly) and, along with Berthe Morisot, went on to become one of the most celebrated female Impressionist artists. Edgar Degas served as her artistic mentor for some time and in 1876 invited her to show in the next Impressionist exhibition, insisting that, "Most women paint like they are trimming hats, (but) not you."

Cassatt and Degas initially had a close friendship (though they later had a falling out, not uncharacteristic of Degas' relationships) and it was under Degas' guidance that Cassatt developed her techniques in pastels and printmaking. Cassatt made 220 etchings, drypoints and aquatints between the mid-1870s and early 1900s. Most of her prints were pulled in editions of 25 or fewer, rarely was any of her printed œuvre published.

While she relied on Degas for his technical printmaking expertise, Cassatt was deeply influenced by traditional Japanese Ukiyo-e color woodcuts when she began work on this and several other color aquatints in the 1890s which mark the pinnacle of her career. In 1890, she and Degas had visited an exhibition of Japanese art at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and thereafter she began collecting Ukiyo-e woodcuts (notably by Utamaro and his circle) and she determined to produce a series of prints based on these Japanese woodcuts. She wrote to the American collector Samuel P. Avery, "The set was done with the intention of attempting an imitation of the Japanese methods." While she focused instead on producing these as color aquatints with etching (with Degas' assistance), rather than woodcuts in the Japanese style, these mark a highpoint in Impressionist printmaking still today. Breeskin 162.