Color aquatint and etching
Sheet: 55.4 x 74.4 cm (21 13/16 x 29 5/16 in.); Platemark: 46.5 x 58.1 cm (18 5/16 x 22 7/8 in.)
Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland 1996.326
© Artists Right Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Catalogue raisonné: Ginestet and Pouillon 138
Villon, whose real name was Gaston Duchamp, arrived in Paris in 1895. In 1899 he met the printer Eugène Delâtre who encouraged him to produce his first intaglio prints. With the help of Delâtre, who was an excellent technician and teacher, Villon produced 175 color etchings and aquatints over the following decade. Many of these, like Normandy Farmhouse, were published in small editions by the print dealer Edmond Sagot. Villon was one of several excellent printmakers who helped to revive multiplate color etching in France. The technique of printing a plate for each color had been devised in the 18th century, but was no longer used because of the difficult and tedious task of accurately superimposing one inked plate after another onto a single piece of paper that would carry the final, multicolored image. Influenced by the lithographed posters of Jules Chéret, Japanese color woodblock prints, and the development of photomechanical color printing processes to illustrate journals and books, artists once again exploited the possibilities of color intaglio printmaking. Normandy Farmhouse is a beautiful example of Villon's achievement.
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