LE PETIT NEMROD
LE PETIT NEMROD
An original James Tissot Mezzotint print.
(A Little Nimrod)
Original mezzotint printed in black ink on chine appliqué (thin China paper mounted on heavier wove paper)
Signed in the plate in the title margin below the image lower right J.J. Tissot.
A richly printed impression of Wentworth’s second and final state, printed after the addition of the lettering to the title margin, from the edition estimated by Wentworth to be up to 200 in both states (but which is likely to be much smaller due to the scarcity of this mezzotint).
Catalog: Tissot 89; Beraldi 74; Wentworth 83.
16 11/16 x 22 1/4 inches
Sheet Size: 19 3/16 x 24 1/8 inches
The origins of this piece date back to photographs from the artist’s St. John’s Wood period (1873-1882). Tissot’s love for the children of his mistress, Kathleen Newton, is evident in his rendering of the youths in this scene. This same affection for these children can be seen in the mezzotint “Le Banc du Jardin” (W. 75).
Created after Mrs. Newton’s death, “Le Petit Nemrod” is perhaps a melancholy remembrance of Tissot’s years in London. He has elongated the figures, freezing them in time with distant, serene expressions, adding a surreal quality to the image. This mezzotint was Tissot’s final published print.
Similar to “Le Banc de Jardin,” this mezzotint is characteristic of Tissot’s emormous facility as a printmaker. The quality of the inner glowing light which is inherent to mezzotint, and the richness of the combination of the blacks and the patterned highlights, give this work a drama of decorative surface which is extremely striking. The contrasts of texture are a tour-de-force of printmaking.