After Édouard Manet - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, October 24, 2023 | Phillips
  • After the war, Jacques Villon found himself in a difficult economic situation, and, to live, he made reproduction engravings for about ten years. He began by engraving plates for Architectures, a collection published by the Compagnie des Arts Français under the direction of Louis Süe and André Mare, then he produced a series of reproductions of paintings by contemporary painters for the Bernheim Jeune gallery. Before the war he had already engraved François Ier d'après Clouet (François I after Clouet) and two gouaches by Rouault: Une mendiante et ses enfants (A Beggar and her Children) and Un petit Breton (A Little Breton).

    He had made some attempts with which he was not satisfied; there was no draw. “This great artist had the modesty to devote a great deal of work to the color reproduction of a certain number of paintings by the greatest modern masters. But with what taste and what results! While most of the reproductions of paintings, whatever their fidelity, give only the most material aspect or the bark, Villon delivers the essence. An astonishing appropriateness in the work of the process and of the scale preserves its substance. Villon's reproductions remain unequaled in this field.”1

    Through long and meticulous work, Villon endeavored to remain faithful to the spirit of the work, trying to bring the interest of the engravings more to the painter than to the engraver [...] He takes the boards again until he is satisfied, using the brush, the roller, the soft varnish, the Sulphur, seeking the relief by reworking with the burnisher, the scraper, modeling the grain. This laborious, often disappointing work for a single transposed work could take three to six months before it reached the print run.

    This practice enabled him to achieve astonishing perfection in color engraving, but during these years left him little time for his own research.

    - Colette de Ginestet and Catherine Pouillon


    Roger Vieillard, “Les gravures de Jacques Villon,” Jardin des Arts, n° 55, May 1959

    • Literature

      Colette de Ginestet and Catherine Pouillon E647


Olympia (G. & P. E647)

Etching and aquatint in colors, by Jacques Villon, on Arches paper, with margins.
I. 15 3/4 x 23 in. (40 x 58.4 cm)
S. 19 3/4 x 26 3/8 in. (50.2 x 67 cm)

Signed by Villon and numbered 47/200 (both re-written) in pencil (there were also some artist's proofs), published by Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, unframed.

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$2,000 - 3,000 

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Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 24-26 October 2023