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Marcellin Gilbert Desboutin

(1823 Cérilly – 1902 Nice)

Self-portrait with Pipe. Lithograph on simili Japan paper. 30.5 x 22.2 cm. (1894). Signed in pen and ink at the bottom right. “M. Desboutin”. IFF 37, Clément-Janin 69.

The painter and etcher, Marcellin Desboutin, came from a wealthy background and initially dabbled in art. He led the life of a grand seigneur, collected works of the Old Masters and from the 1860s devoted himself increasingly to literature. Desboutin never developed a distinctive style of his own. His true originality lies in his printmaking. He is best known for his impressive portraits of famous fellow artists such as Courbet, Degas, Manet, Renoir, Puvis de Chavannes and others, with whom he was very good friends. This expressive, keenly observed self-portrait showing the artist at the age of 69 appeared in the first volume of Les Peintres lithographes in 1894. Though evidently not recorded, there are different states of the lithograph: with and without the stone signature and the pipe, the artist’s trademark. Our impression (Épreuve no. 9), like the specimen in the Bibliothèque de l’Institut natio­nal d’histoire de l’art (Épreuve no. 15) also bears Marcellin Desboutin’s signature. A very fine impression, printed on the full sheet. In impeccable condition.

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