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Adolphe Appian

(real name Jacques Barthélemy, 1818-1898, Lyon)

L’écluse. Etching and drypoint on Chine appliqué, affixed to the original mounting. 22 x 29 cm. 1864. Not included in Inventaire du Fonds Français; Prouté 1976, 13 B (Paul Prouté, “Supplément au catalogue des eaux-fortes d’Appian”, in: Nouvelles de l’estampe, 1976, no. 25, pp. 7-23).

At the age of fifteen the painter and etcher, Adolphe Appian, enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, where he was taught by Jean Michel Grobon. In the 1850`s Appian dedicated himself to painting and was deeply influenced by Corot and Daubigny. In the course of his artistic career Appian achieved national fame with his painted, drawn and printed landscapes from the area around Lyon and other French regions as well as Italy. A later reworked state of the present etching is listed in Prouté’s supplement to the 1976 catalogue of Appian’s works (13 B) together with a version in reverse (13 C) showing the subject in the laterally correct position. In front of the walls of a sluice a young angler bends over the water, the completely motionless, glassy surface of which reflects every blade of grass. His posture invokes associations with depictions of Narcis, while the overall scene conveys an impression of idyllic rural tranquillity. A very fine, transparent and crisp trial proof with wide margins, before the dense hatching around the image and before other hatching in the sky, terrain and water. Minor handling traces, otherwise in impeccable condition. Rare.

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