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Adolphe Martial Potémont

(1828–1883, Paris)

Rue des Teinturiers, sous le quai de la Mégisserie 1830. Etching. 18.8 x 12.7 cm. Circa 1864. Béraldi, from 1.

The landscape painter and etcher, Adolphe Potémont, who also used the pseudonym Martial, was trained by Léon Cogniet and Félix Brissot de Warville. Apart from a ten-year stay on the island of La Réunion, Potémont spent his entire life in Paris, which proved an inexhaustible source of artistic inspiration to him. A large number of his etchings illustrate the changes his native city underwent during a period of great upheaval. He captured images of times past in his manifold urban views and a number of series comprising genre images of everyday life in the French capital. Of outstanding significance was his extensive series of prints devoted to L’Ancien Paris issued by the renowned Parisian publishing house of Cadart & Luquet between 1864 and 1866, which contains the present visually appealing portrayal of the Rue des Teinturiers (Dyers Street). Potémont shows great ingenuity in his depiction of the rough walls of the tunnel-like passage, the use of dense, dark hatching giving it an almost three-dimensional, painterly quality. Potémont’s idiosyncratic etching technique is distinctly experimental in character. A fine, contrasting impression with full margins. Minimal ageing, otherwise in excellent condition.

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