Félix BUHOT: Frontispice pour Les Graveurs du XIXe siècle, de Henri Beraldi - 1884/1886



Etching and drypoint, 248 x 178 mm. Bourcard/Goodfriend 164, undescribed intermediary state between 1st and 2nd state (of 7).

Impression of an intermediary state between the 1st and the 2nd state (of 7) with the three first letters of CONQUET’s name but before the two additional lines framing the main subject and before numerous additional works described by Bourcard for the 2nd state.

Superb impression with much burr printed with tone on laid paper, annotated in pencil by Buhot: Félix Buhot 71 Bd de Clichy and probably by someone else bottom left: 2e état intermédiaire [intermediary 2nd state] and bottom right: tirée à 2 ou 3 [2 or 3 impressions printed] and B. 164.

In perfect condition. Full uncut margins (sheet: 310 x 224 mm).

Provenance: Marcel Lecomte, his blindstamp with initials ML in the bottom right margin (Lugt undescribed).

A similar impression, but with less drypoint, is at the New York Public Library (Samuel Putman Avery collection). It is annotated by Buhot Premier état (une dizaine d’épreuves pour Mr Henri Beraldi) [First state (about ten impressions printed for Mr Henri Beraldi)].

In its finished version, Buhot's etching was used as a frontispiece for luxury copies of volume 4 of Graveurs du XIXe siècle, guide de l’amateur d’estampes modernes, published in 1886 by the bookseller Conquet. In fact, volume 4 deals with artists from Brascassat to Chéret, and it contains a catalogue of all works by Buhot to date. Henri Beraldi notes in his introduction: “Buhot will almost always let his tool wander in the margins of his plates, will let it daydream so to speak, and slowly form patterned frames, small secondary sketches, that follow the main subject in an amusing procession. It is essential to get his prints with these fantastical remarques.” (p. 26, [our translation]).

In 1881 Félix Buhot moves to 71, boulevard de Clichy. He moves his studio there and in 1884 he buys a printing press in order to print his etchings himself (Jean-Luc Dufresne, Étude et catalogue raisonné des peintures, pastels, aquarelles et gouaches, PhD dissertation, 1981, p. VIII).

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