MORICE (Ch.). Paul Gauguin. Paris, Floury,... - Lot 251 - Ferri & Associés

Lot 251
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MORICE (Ch.). Paul Gauguin. Paris, Floury,... - Lot 251 - Ferri & Associés
MORICE (Ch.). Paul Gauguin. Paris, Floury, 1919. In-4, red half-maroq with corners, smooth spine, gilt head, cover and spine cons. ONE OF 60 LUXURY EXEMPLIES PRINTED ON JAPAN, accompanied by Gauguin's very fine original etching of Stéphane Mallarmé "au corbeau", this proof in two states, one of which is striped (184 x 145 mm). The only etching of Paul Gauguin's engraved work. There are two states of this admirable etching, engraved in 1891, two posthumous prints and the scratched copper: - A first state with a lighter background and a less detailed face, unsigned, is only known in two copies (one of these, accompanied by the original copper, is kept at the Bibliothèque nationale de France). - A second state is signed and dated above the poet's head "P G 91" (with the 9 reversed). Produced by Delâtre, it was printed in very small numbers (around ten) for the artist's friends, and not placed on the market. - Two posthumous prints commissioned by Charles Morice, produced around 1919: a few proofs on vergé or japon for the publisher Floury, and a bistre print on japon, of which this is one of 79. One of 79 copies in bistre on japon from 1919, numbered in graphite: 9/79 (Sheet 330x240). - Le cuivre rayé printed at approx. 79 copies on wove paper. Paul Gauguin and Stéphane Mallarmé met at the end of 1890 through their mutual friend Charles Morice. Gauguin became a regular at Les Mardis between trips to Tahiti. It was thanks to Mallarmé that Octave Mirbeau announced in Le Figaro the sale organized by Gauguin in February 1891 at Hôtel Drouot, to raise the funds needed for his departure to the Marquesas Islands (letter from Mallarmé to Mirbeau, January 5, 1891). To thank him, Gauguin painted this portrait, the only etching he ever produced. "Ces quelques traits une minute esquissés, vague souvenir d'un beau visage aimé au clair regard dans les ténèbres" (Letter from Paul Gauguin to André Fontainas, March 1899). Gauguin's tribute to the Manet-Mallarmé relationship. "In the engraved version, the raven ironically dominates the poet's head, whose faun-like ears Gauguin likes to accentuate: a double homage to the Manet-Mallarmé relationship. The obscure background, bushy with chiselled features, the pale lighting of the face, concentrated but with a distant gaze, the strange presence of the bird, give this portrait something disquieting, very much in the manner of Edgar Poe, like the emergence of a mystery into the light. The position of the raven, almost perched on the the poet's head, can be read as a reference to Manet's third lithograph for Le Corbeau: Sur le buste' [...] By drawing the poet's face in turn, Gauguin was also responding to the hidden portrait in the first illustration of Le Corbeau: Sous la lampe'" (Nectoux, p. 98). References: Nectoux, Mallarmé, Peinture, musique, poésie, 1998, p. 98. - Mallarmé, Musée d'Orsay, 1998, cat. 235 and 60 for another print. - Stéphane Mallarmé à Valvins, Musée départemental Stéphane Mallarmé, 1995, p. 55. - Kornfeld, 12 II B b. An essential work on Gauguin and one of the rarest in the Floury collection, illustrated with numerous reproductions in and out of the text, in black and in color. (Slight scuffing to spine of volume; both engravings in very fine impression, slight creasing and breakage to edges of large margins, small trace of rubbing under the subject on the left, slight trace of yellowing to lateral margins of the scratched copperplate proof).
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