Edouard MANET: Berthe Morisot en noir (1re planche) - 1872-1874



Lithograph, 204 x 142 mm (image). Guérin 77; Harris 73, 1st state (of 2); Fisher 59-60.

Very fine impression printed on chine appliqué on white wove paper without Lemercier’s address. In very good condition. Moderate light stain, a few foxmarks in the margins. Wide margins (chine: 251 x 175 mm; wove paper: 586 x 434 mm). Éric Franck’s collector’s mark verso, Lugt 4205).

Provenance: ex. coll. Éric Franck. This impression of Berthe Morisot en noir was described and illustrated in the catalogue of Éric Franck’s collection sold at Sotheby’s, London, 14th December 1978: Edouard Manet. A Collection of Etchings and Lithographs: no. 41: “Lithograph, first state of two, a fine impression on chine appliqué, one of a number of impressions printed at the time of the 1884 edition, but with the letters masked, with full margins, very faint discolouration in support sheet, otherwise in good condition. 203 x 141, support sheet 585 x 433”.

Berthe Morisot en noir was lithographed by Manet after his painting Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets, 1872. This is one of 5 lithographs which weren’t issued during Manet’s lifetime and were printed by Lemercier in 1884 - one year after Manet’s death - at the request of Manet’s widow, Suzanne. The Dépôt Légal registers record, on 26th March 1884, 50 impressions from each of the two portraits of Berthe Morisot (titled Portrait de femme) and from two of the three others unpublished lithographs. The minutes of September 1892 concerning the Manet-Leenhoff estate contain the following statement: “The lithographic stones no longer exist; the subjects drawn on these stones by M. Edouard Manet were printed in an edition of 250 impressions and paid for by Mme Manet. The designs thus printed were sold between 1886 and 1889 by Mme Manet to cover her expenses …” (quoted by Juliet Wilson Bareau in Manet, 1983, p. 280). The figure of 250 impressions is equal to the total of 50 impressions from each of the five stones printed in 1884. The 1892 document records no other edition and certifies that the stones were destroyed.

Some rare impressions of Berthe Morisot en noir printed without Lemercier’s address are known (Victoria and Albert Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, INHA, Cleveland Museum of Art). Whether these impressions are lifetime proofs or trial proofs printed at the time of the 1884 edition is open to debate.

Bibliographie : Marcel Guérin, L'œuvre gravé de Manet, avec un supplément nouvellement ajouté, New-York : Da Capo press ; Amsterdam : B. M. Israël, 1969, n°77 ; Jean Harris,  Edouard Manet. Graphic Works, a definitive catalogue raisonné, New York, 1970, Rev. ed. by Joel M. Smith, n°73 ; Edouard Manet. A Collection of Etchings and Lithographs. With a group of catalogue [sic] raisonnés and works of reference. Vente anonyme (« the property of a gentleman ») de la collection Éric Franck.  Londres, Sotheby’s, 14 décembre 1978 ; Manet, 1832-1883, catalogue de l’exposition tenue à Paris et New York en 1983, par Françoise Cachin, Charles S. Moffett et Juliet Wilson Bareau, Paris, 1983 ; Jay McKean Fisher, The Prints of Edouard Manet, Washington,  International Exhibitions Foundation, 1985, n°59 ; Caroline Joubert, Michel Melot, Valérie Sueur-Hermel, L'estampe impressionniste : trésors de la Bibliothèque Nationale de France : de Manet à Renoir, Paris, 2010, p. 334-336.

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