Softground, aquatint, and drypoint
Platemark: 21.9 x 26.9 cm (8 5/8 x 10 9/16 in.); Overall: 26.9 x 35.6 cm (10 9/16 x 14 in.)
Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland 2004.105
Catalogue raisonné: Delteil 16, state V/V; Shapiro VI/VI
Pissarro made this print for the journal Le Jour et la nuit that he planned with Edgar Degas, but was never realized.
Camille Pissarro, a painter fascinated by color, was also a superb printmaker. The richness and inventiveness of his technical vocabulary enabled him to create prints that fully reflected his painterly goals. This skill is particularly evident in Wooded Landscape at l’Hermitage, Pontoise, a landscape that, like so much of his work, conveys the pleasantness of the countryside and simple, rural life. In 1879, Pissarro met Edgar Degas who introduced him to inventive and unorthodox printmaking techniques. Degas conceived of the idea of publishing a journal of original prints, Le Jour et la nuit, and although this project failed, Pissarro produced Wooded Landscape for it. Inspired by Degas’s experimental attitude, Pissarro combined soft-ground etching and aquatint to describe the scene in layers of tone. While the subtle gradations of black and white produce an overall luminosity, the patterns created by interwoven tree trunks and branches, and the variety of printed textures, suggest a rippling movement.
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