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Francis Jourdain

(1876–1958, Paris)

La Vague (ou La Mer). Colour etching and aquatint on laid paper. 42 x 31.8 cm. Signed in purple ink and inscribed: “30 épr. no 17”, the title “La vague” written in pencil by the artist. Circa 1900. Cate/Grivel, From Pissarro to Picasso: Color Etching in France, p. 122.

Francis Jourdain, a painter, printmaker and artist-craftsman, studied under Eugène Carrière and Albert Besnard. From 1895 he participated in the highly acclaimed exhibitions staged by the Société des Artistes Indépendants, the Salon d’Automne and the Libre Esthétique in Brussels. An extremely talented decorator, he subsequently excelled as a successful designer of stage scenery, furniture, coloured paper, fabric samples and other arts and crafts products. In the early part of his career Jourdain worked as a painter and etcher; his prints and paintings, which stand out for their intense colourism and lyrical atmosphere, are of a stylized, highly decorative character in keeping with the symbolist spirit. Hence he is regarded as a significant representative of modern colour etching in France.

The present splendid sheet with its very resonant colours depicts a coastal landscape in Normandy or Brittany in which the artist uses minimal means to evoke a compelling atmosphere and natural lyricism. The image derives its appeal from the resounding contrast between the dominant, profound emerald green and the subtly gradated, earthy hues of the rocky coast. The raging power of the onrushing waves is portrayed with great verve. The etching is rare. A superb, rich impression with wide margins. Minor ageing, otherwise in excellent condition.

7.500 €

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