PROMENADE DANS LA NIEGE
PROMENADE DANS LA NIEGE
etching & drypoint
An original hand-signed James Tissot etching & drypoint print.
(A Winter’s Walk)
Original etching with drypoint printed in black and red inks on laid paper bearing a Strasbourg Lily watermark (fleur-de-lys in a crowned shield) surmounting the letters “VGZ”, along with the block letter “Van Gelder” countermark
Signed and dated in the plate in the title margin below the image J.J. Tissot /1880.
A superb, richly printed impression of Wentworth’s second state of three, printed after the addition of the text from a poem by Keats to the plate in the title margin printed in red ink (in the third and final state this text is printed in black), from the edition of well less than 100 in this state. Bearing the artist’s red monogram stamp (Lugt 1545) lower right which Tissot affixed only to those impressions from any given edition which he considered to be the finest, he reserved these impressions for his own collection.
Catalog: Wentworth 48 ii/iii; Tissot 44; Beraldi 47.
22 x 10 inches
Sheet Size: 26 15/16 x 18 inches
When exhibited in Manchester in 1878, the painted version of “Promenade dans la neige” was described as “a fairy form enveloped in furs, out of which we have a peep of a sweet and enticing face.” For the final work in Tissot’s series of seasons, Kathleen Newton poses once again, wearing a huge fur collar and muff. Under the print the artist includes a line from Keats’s poem “Fancy”: “She will bring in spite of frost / Beauties that the earth hath lost,” suggesting the idea of her youthful vitality challenging the frozen landscape. Illustrating the stark contrasts of wintertime, her velvety black stole stands out against the flat white of the snow. Behind the woman an evergreen, symbolizing the eternal aspect of nature, which will rejuvenate in the spring, spreads its branches in a virtuoso display of Tissot’s talents as an etcher. The tall narrow format of the plate, the flat planes of the composition and above all the dramatic use of the expressive form of the silhouette show Tissot’s adaptation of the elements of Japanese art at its most impressive.
During his lifetime Tissot’s etchings were more consistently admired then his paintings, and he was included in numerous compilations and reference works on this technique. As a painter who etched his own work, he was unusual. Far from being rote copies of his pictures by other hands, his etchings are original works of art in their own right.