engravings ‘impressionist’ expositions

 

 

Impressionism, a historical reconstruction:

The ‘impressionist’ expositions

1874 – 1886

Exhibited engravings

overview + slideshow

Which engravings were shown at the ‘impressionist’ expositions?
At the 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions held from 1874-1886 in Paris there were about 205 engravings exhibited, about 10% of the total amount of about 2053 exhibited art-works. In total they were indicated by just 60 catalogue numbers. But in reality many catalogue numbers contained several engravings. Most engravings were shown by Félix Bracquemond, namely 61. Per year the amount of exhibited engravings varied very much.
At several expositions Degas showed monotypes. Often he reworked them with pastel, than I render them on the page with mixed techniques. Lepic also made monotypes. Lucien Pissarro also made woodcuts, which he exhibited in 1886. Mostly the engravings were done on a copper plate. More info on the techniques of engraving you will find lower at this page. More below you will find an overview of the number of engravings exhibited and an account per year.
Note: If you double click on the first picture and then click on full screen, you can create a slideshow. On a smartphone or laptop you can also zoom in. Enjoy!

Explination techniques of engraving:
There are several forms of engravings or printmaking art (iR3; iR5). Here I will render some simple and basic information. For more information you can use the links to articles on WikiPedia (iR3).
Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a plate.
Etching is the process of using a strong acid to cut into unprotected parts of a metal plate (cupper, zinc or steel). The plate is covered with wax. With an etching needle the artist removes the wax and draws lines. The plate is then dipped in a bath of acid. The acid bites into the metal plate leaving behind the drawing.  The plate is covered with ink. The ink is wiped away, leaving the ink in the etched lines. The plate together with a sheet of paper is put through a printing press. The ink in the etched lines leaves a print on the paper.
Drypoint etching (Fr.: point-sèche) is a variation of the normal etching proces. The edges that are formed after drawing lines in the metal plate are used. These edges (or burrs) also hold ink that will be printed on the paper. This edge can be larger or smaller depending on the angle with which the needle is drawn into the plate, creating a feathery black line with a fine, white center.  The technique is easier to use. The amount of (good) prints that can be made is more limited.
Mezzotint achieves tonality by roughening a metal plate with thousands of little dots made by a metal tool.
Aquatint produces areas of tone rather than lines. The printing is done with multiple plates in different colours. This technique uses powdered rosin (resin) to create a tonal effect.
Lithography can be used to print text or images onto paper. The image to be printed was drawn with a greasy substance, such as oil, onto the surface of a plate. The other parts were treated with acid and made wet. An oil-based ink was then applied, and would stick only to the original drawing. This technique allows that many prints could be made.
Woodcut means that the artist carves an image into the surface of a block of wood. These cut out areas will carry no ink.
With Heliographic printing the picture isn’t rendered reversed (R158,p208).

 

Overview number of engravings exhibited:
At the 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions held from 1874-1886 in Paris there were about 205 engravings exhibited, about 10% of the total amount of about 2053 exhibited art-works. Here below you will find an overview of the number of engravings that were exhibited. In total the engravings were indicated by just 60 catalogue numbers. But in reality many catalogue numbers contained several engravings. Most engravings were shown by Félix Bracquemond, namely 61. Per year the amount of exhibited engravings varied very much.
In 1874 38 engravings were exhibited, namely 32 of Félix Bracquemond. In 1876 at least 48 engravings were exhibited including many of Legros (25), Lepic (11) and Desboutin (13). In 1877 Degas showed 6 monotypes. In 1879 just  6 engravings were shown. In 1880 most engravings were exhibited, namely 82, which is 26,2% of the whole! Many engravings were intended for the publication ‘La jour et la nuit’. Félix Bracquemond also showed maybe 25 engravings. In 1881 Degas showed 3 monotypes outside the catalogue. In 1882 there were no engravings exhibited. In 1886 Camille and Lucien Pissarro showed 22 engravings.

overview number of engravings exhibited 1874 - 1886

 

Account per year:
The suggestions are often quite certain. Of etch the artist mostly made a few states and several prints of one state. So, it is more likely that at least one print has been preserved. At an early stage engravings were catalogued by Beraldi (from 1885-1892 =R85)  and Delteil (1906 onwards =R138). All this makes identification more easy. Still, mostly it is not indicated which state was exhibited, I assume mostly the latest and most finished, but this is uncertain.

In 1874 there were 38! engravings exhibited by 4 partakers, namely by Félix Bracquemond: 32x (nos.24-28).
Lepic showed 3 etchings (no.78-80).
Léon Ottin showed 1 lithogrape for which I have no suggestion: 1IE-1874-133,  Une bergerie sans moutons, lithographie.
Rouart showed 2 untitled etchings (no.157+158), for which I render 1 undated as very uncertain option and a later dated etching to compare.
So in total there were 38 engravings exhibited, depicted in just 11 catalogue numbers, about 16,9% of the total amount of about 225 art-works.

In 1876 there were 48! engravings exhibited by just 3 partakers.
Desboutin showed at least 13 engravings, all dry points (nos. 67-72+hc1).
Maybe all the 25 art-works of Legros were engravings (nos.81-92), with the numbers 81-4 +82 +83-4 +85 +88-1 being dry points and no. 83-5 containing two lithographes .
Lepic showed
at least 7 and assumably 11 etchings (no.135-137).
So in total there were probably 49 engravings exhibited, about 16,4% of the total amount of about 298 art-works.

Of the partakers in 1877 only Degas exhibited engravings, namely at least 6 monotypes (nos.58-60). Some maybe were a bit reworked with pastel and than can be seen as mixed techniques. But because the title ‘Dessins faits à l’encre grasse et imprimés’ indicate pure monotypes I count them all as engravings. So in total there were 6 engravings exhibited, 2,4% of the total amount of about 249 art-works.

In 1879 just 2 partakers exhibited engravings:
Félix Bracquemond 4x (no.3-6);
Somm 2x (no.228+229).
So in total there were 6 engravings exhibited, about 2,2% of the total amount of about 272 art-works.

In 1880 the following 8! partakers exhibited engravings:
Félix Bracquemond maybe 25x! (no.5); note: of no.4, the portrait of Goncourt there also are etchings, but he showed a drawing.
Cassatt 10x (nos.25-32); for no.27-1 I render to compare a drawing;
Degas maybe 8x (no44);
Forain 2x (no.53+54);
Levert at least 2x (no.112);
Pissarro 18x! (nos.139-143);
Jean-François Raffaëlli at least 10x (no.164+166+167); I couldn’t find a suggestion for 167-1.
Jean-Marius Raffaëlli 6x (no.180).
So in total there were about 81! engravings exhibited,  26,2% of the total amount of about 309 art-works. The largest amount of the 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions.

Of the partakers in 1881 only Degas showed engravings, assumably 3 monotypes outside the catalogue (hc4 ‘Esquisses noire’). So there were just 3 engravings exhibited, less than 2% of the total amount of about 187 art-works.

In 1882 there was not 1 partaker that exhibited engravings.

In 1886 only 2 partakers exhibited engravings:
Camille Pissarro exhibited 8 etchings (no.109-113)
Lucien Pissarro exhibited 14! woodcut engravings (no.122+123).
So in total there were 22 engravings exhibited, about 7,3% of the total amount of about 301 art-works.

So, in total there were about 38+48+6+6+81+3+0+22= 204 engravings exhibited, which is about 9,9% of the total amount of about 2053 art-works.
Per year the amount of exhibited engravings varied very much. The actual amount of exhibited engravings was much more than the catalogue numbers.

 

 

Sources:
My main sources are the catalogues of the 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions as rendered by Moffett (1986=R2), Berson (1996=R90I) and the Salon database (iR1). See the link for other general References (=Rx) and to the internet references (=iRx). See links for practical hints and abbreviations and for the subscription of the paintings.

Additional references:

  1. gallica.bnf.fr/lestampes_apres_1800 (overview page with links to engravings of several French artists; =iR40)
  2. x

 

 

Recommanded citation: “Impressionism: Overview of the exhibited engravings at the ‘impressionist’ expositions (1874-1886). Last modified 2024/02/11. https://www.impressionism.nl/engravings-impressionist-expositions/.”

 

Note: additional and better suggestions will be added in the future.