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Michal Plonski

(1778–1812, Warsaw)

Bust Portrait of a Bearded Old Man. Etching, printed in black and brown. 13.6 x 9.8 cm. 1812. Heller-Andresen 6 I (of II).

Michal Plonski, a Polish draughtsman, etcher and miniaturist, was a pupil of Jean-Pierre Norblin de la Gourdaine, who had lived in Poland since 1774. The artist continued his training in Berlin, Copenhagen and Amsterdam, where the present etching was made in 1802. Plonski was a talented printmaker whose modest oeuvre reflects the profound influence of Rembrandt. This impressive, sensitively observed character head is reminiscent of 17th century Dutch “tronies”, a genre practised by Rembrandt, Lievens and other masters of their time. The small print has been executed in a painstaking and differentiated etching technique. The skilful distribution of light and the delicate use of plate tone conjure up an intense atmosphere. An extremely fine, crisp impression with thread margins, before the number. In impeccable condition.

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