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Jean-Baptiste Hugon

(1797–1860, Lyon)

Picturesque Wooded Landscape with Church. Two etchings. 13.3 x 20.9 cm; 12.9 x 19 cm. Circa 1830. Inventaire du Fonds Français from 2, probably I and II.

Virtually nothing is known to date about the life and work of the draughtsman and etcher, Jean-Baptiste Hugon. He spent his life in his native city of Lyon, where he was active as a dilettante artist, collector and writer. The body of works that has come down to us is very small indeed – Jean Adhémar records just eighteen etchings and a single lithograph in the Inventaire du Fonds Français, while Bénézit mentions approximately twenty-five landscape etchings. One of these extremely rare landscapes is on offer here in two different states. The first print is a trial proof from the still untrimmed plate which has numerous wiping marks in the margins and is without a framing line. The print has “No. 1” inscribed in pencil on the verso. The second impression comes from what is probably the final state. The artist has revised the work in many places. The sky and water, for example, as well as the trees on the left and the terrain have been considerably darkened by the addition of dense hatching, while on the extreme right the outline of a building with a tower can be seen on the distant horizon. Superb, tonal and crisp impressions; the trial proof from the uncleaned plate with delicate plate tone and thread margins around the platemark; the second print trimmed to the image. Minor ageing and traces of handling, otherwise in excellent condition.

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