Lot 254: CAMILLE PISSARRO La Masure.
November 3, 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Etching and aquatint printed in black on antique, cream laid paper, 1879. 167x170 mm; 6 5/8x6 3/4 inches, full margins. Third state (of 7). The unique impression in this state, before the addition of aquatint to the sky, and one of approximately only 20 lifetime impressions in all 7 states combined. Inscribed "3e état no. 1" and titled in pencil, lower left. A brilliant, early and richly-inked, proof-like impression, with crisp, uneven and inky plate edges.
Pissarro worked closely on the printing of this plate with Degas. It has been noted that Degas even likely printed some impressions in colors for Pissarro of the sixth state; however the leafless trees added to the upper right of the plate by the artist in the seventh state indicate that he had a somewhat colorless representation of a farm on a winter day in mind for the final version of this subject.
According to Shapiro, "In 1891 Pissarro wrote to [his son] Lucien, 'As for La Masure, you know that only six of this one have been pulled. The steeled proofs are sometimes very beautiful but less rare . . . I suppose you will have difficulty in making people understand that I am not an engraver, thaat these are simply graven impressions.' Pissarro also mentioned in 1891 that his lost plates for La Masure were discovered by Degas while cleaning up his studio." Delteil 20.