Etching and aquatint
215 x 410 mm; sheet 319 x 495 mm
R. Vives Piqué - L. Cuenca Garcia, n. 1, third state of three, pulled in Rome c. 1866. Signed and dated the plate Fortuny / Roma 1866.
Superb impression, richly inked with fine tonal variations, and velvety blacks, printed on thin wove paper.
Our print shows the printed marks between the boundary of the composition and the platemark. On the contrary in the edition before the letter, printed in Paris c. 1873, those marks are wiped and, as indicated by R. Vives Piqué and L. Cuenca Garcia, all the specimens known, have been pulled on China paper.
Our impression therefore is a rare proof printed in Rome and must therefore be added to the few examples indicated by R. Vives Piqué and L. Cuenca Garcia.
Printmaking occupies a significant place in the work of Mariano Fortuny. The principal repositories of his printed work are the Calcografia Nazionale of Rome, the National Library of Madrid, and the Museum of Ca’ Pesaro, in Venice, this one enriched by the donation of the wife of Fortuny Madrazo (1871-1949), Henriette Negrin.
The etchings by Fortuny y Marsal were appreciated by the great French critic Théophile Gautier. The prints are informed by the taste and the atmosphere of the Flemish and Spanish painters. Fortuny cultivated a technique that recalls, as Guido Pedrocco wrote: The mysterious chiaroscuro of Rembrandt, the sharp and biting marks of Goya, the contrast of light with dramatic effects as in the engraving titled ‘L’Anacoreta’ (or Saint Gerome),1869, in which it is drawn a hermit immersed in a tormented landscape, so admired by Van Gogh (letter to his brother Theo, January 3, 1883).
Beraldi H, Les Graveurs du XIX siecle, vol. VI, Paris, 1887, p. 150, cat. no. 1;
M. R. Vives Piqué - L. Cuenca Garciá, Mariano Fortuny Marsal, Mariano Fortuny Madrazo, Madrid, 1994, cat. no. 1.