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Henri Evenepoel

(1872 Nice – 1899 Paris)

Aux Nouveautés. Colour etching in green, red and ochre. 13.7 x 10 cm. Signed. Circa 1899. Derrey-Capon 55.

After completing his initial training in Brussels the painter, draughtsman and printmaker, Henri Jacques Edouard Evenepoel, went on to study at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1892. A year later he began working in the studio of Gustave Moreau, where he got to know Henri Matisse, Georges Rouault and Charles Milcendeau, among others. Evenepoel made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1894, the first solo exhibition of his works following in 1897. Although he died prematurely of typhoid in 1899, Evenepoel is nonetheless considered an important representative of late Impressionism. In addition to his paintings, which were highly regarded during his lifetime, the artist produced an extensive corpus of drawings as well as lithographs and a few etchings, all of them apparently in the last year of his life. For seven of these brilliantly and accurately executed works the artist chose the demanding technique of colour etching à la poupée, in which the various parts of the printing plate are inked in several different colours. These etchings are rare, since Evenepoel frequently produced only very limited editions of not more than thirty impressions. The present three-colour etching provides a snapshot from the Théâtre des Nouveautés in Paris, which was reopened by Jules Brasseur on the Boulevard des Italiens in 1878. Executed with the utmost graphic delicacy, this little print derives its impact from the accurate use of the colours; the viewer’s attention is directed to the back of an elegantly dressed lady sat in one of the upper galleries who is observing events in the auditorium through theatre glasses. A fine, nuanced impression with margins. In mint condition. Literature: Danielle Derrey-Capon, “Peintre mais aussi aquafortiste et lithographe. Inventaire de l’oeuvre grave”, in: exh. cat. Henri Evenepoel 1872–1899, Brussels 1994, pp. 163–180.

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