Expos 1874-86: mixed techniques

 

 

Impressionism, a historical reconstruction:

The ‘impressionist’ expositions

1874 – 1886

Mixed techniques

An overview

Introduction:
At the 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions held from 1874-1886 in Paris sometimes there were art-works exhibited made by mixed techniques. In total there have been 25 art-works exhibited made with mixed techniques / media, just about 1,2% of the total number of 2053 exhibited art-works. Note: often it wasn’t indicated as such in the catalogues. Namely Edgar Degas showed art-works done with mixed techniques (in total 21). Cassatt, Pissarro and Raffaëlli showed just a single art-work done with mixed techniques.
On this page you will find pictures (and information) on enhanced monotypes, works made with several techniques / media, works made with ‘détrempe’ (tempera) and with ‘essence’. I will also render art-works, which I don’t count as being made by mixed techniques, see the account at the bottom of this page. On this page I want to render a broader impression of these mixed techniques and namely want to honour the many experiments made by Edgar Degas. In that sense Degas can be seen as the most creative partaker of the ‘impressionist’ expositions.
The art-works that were partly drawings and partly pastel you will find at the overview of pastels. 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!

Enhanced monotypes of Degas:
A monotype is a single print of a drawing made with ink on a metal plate. Namely Degas used this technique, which he had learned from Lepic. Degas covered the metal plate with ink and with all kind of materials removed it partly, thus creating forms, depth and dark / light contrasts. Degas often reworked such a monotype print with pastel and also with chalk and / or watercolour, these works I count as a mixed technique. The plane monotype picture is a print, which I will count as engravings. Still, I will also render them here, to give an overview of all his monotypes. Maybe Lepic also exhibited some monotypes (see 2IE-1876-135) I count them as engravings, but I will also show them here.
In 1877 Degas showed 3 sets of ‘drawings’: 3IE-1877,no.58+59+60, Dessins faits à l’encre grasse et imprimés. (Eng.: drawings made with greasy ink and printed.) Probably these were monotypes related to Halévy’s stories of the Cardinal family (iR15; R90II,p74).
In 2016 the MoMa in New York (M41) organised an exhibition on the monotypes of Degas and also published a catalogue called ‘A strange beauty’. On their website you will find interesting information, see link. Provokr (iR91) and the NYtimes render articles on this exhibition.
The website of the Metropolitan writes: ‘Degas too studied the world of the maisons closes (=prostitution houses), and made about fifty smudged drawings in greasy ink on glass or metal plates which he printed as monotypes’ (see). Christies mentions that ‘Many depict scenes of prostitutes in brothel interiors and were never exhibited in public during the artist’s lifetime’ (iR15). So, these works are no option for the nos. 58-60. Several of these works were part of the 1934 edition of Guy de Maupassant’s book ‘La Maison Tellier’ published by Ambroise Vollard (iR14).
Degas also used other theme’s for his monotypes.
First I will show the (mainly) unworked monotypes, which are counted as engravings. Then, I will show the enhanced monotypes, which I count as mixed techniques, unless the given suggestion is too uncertain, see the account at the bottom of the page.
More info: WikiPedia (iR3; iR5)
For further reading: Janis, Eugenia Parry: Degas Monotypes; essay, catalogue, & checklist. Cambridge: Fogg Art Museum, 1968.

 

Mix of pastel + gouache / aquarelle and/or (thinned) oil:
Some art-works of Degas were made with a mix of drawing and/or pastel and/or aquarelle and/or (thinned) oil. I will render them here. I also render the suggestions made in such a mixed technique, but because of the uncertainty of the suggestion I count them otherwise (for example as oil painting or pastel), see the account at the bottom of the page.

Détrempe / tempera:
Détrempe (Eng.: tempera) means that dry powder colour pigments are mixed with egg, water and / or glues (gelatin, casein). (iR3; iR4; iR5).
Here below I will render the art-works that were indicated in the catalogues as such. I also render art-works that weren’t indicated as such, but that were (almost) certainly made that way. I will also render works that were probably made that way, but because of the uncertainty I count them not as mixed techniques, see the account at the bottom of the page.
For the following works I couldn’t find a suggestion that depicts a tempera:
Cassatt: 4IE-1879-56,   Dans un jardin (couleur à la détrempe)
Degas: 4IE-1879-75,   Portraits de M. et Mme H. de C. (détrempe à pastel)
Here below you will find several works made by Degas and 1 by Camille Pissarro.

Essence / thinned oil paintings:
In 1879 Degas exhibited two works with essence (=oil thinned with terpetine or gasoline) (no.63+64) He also did so, without that it was indicated. Note: no. 64 I count as on oil painting; no.63 also was done with pastel and gouache, so I count this one as mixed techniques, see the account at the bottom of the page. I render them here, to give you an impression of these works and the way that Degas was experimenting. I will also render art-works that are not indicated as having been made with thinned oil, but that look that way.

 

Account:
In 1874 Degas his drawings maybe were made of mixed techniques, most likely no.62 and maybe also no.58 +59 +60, but as long as more certain suggestions are given, I will count them as drawings. So in total there were maybe 0 art-works exhibited made with mixed techniques, 0% of the total amount of 225 art-works.

In 1876 Degas probably exhibited 2 drawings with thinned oil (no.51), which I count as a mixed technique. So in total there were probably 2 art-works exhibited made with mixed techniques, about 0,7% of the total amount of 298 art-works.
Note: no.55 probably was made of pastel over a monotype print, so a mixed technique, but because it is unsure I will count it as an oil painting. For no.54 Degas used thinned oil (and maybe also for nos. 39 +40 +56), but I will count them as normal oil paintings.

In 1877 Degas exhibited according to the catalogue at least 6 monotypes (no.58-60), which I count as engravings and which I will also depict on this page. But in reality the nos. 37+39+43+44+45+46+47+56 also were monotypes reworked with pastel. I count these 8 as mixed techniques. No.40 of Degas was a pastel + gouache reworked with thinned oil. So in total there were probably 9 art-works exhibited made with mixed techniques, about 3,6% of the total amount of 249 art-works.
Note: No. 41 + 50 were made of thinned oil, I count them as normal oil paintings. The suggestions given no.52 + no.57 have mixed techniques, but because of the uncertainty of the suggestions I don’t count them as mixed techniques.

In 1879 the following 2 partakers exhibited art-works using mixed techniques: Cassatt exhibited 1 work ‘couleur à détrempe’ (no.56). According to the catalogue Degas exhibited several works (no.58+59+65+67+75) made with the technique ‘détrempe’ (=5). No.65 (détrempe) was exchanged with hc1 a pastel. Probably no.58+59 also were done with pastel. No. 75 was indicated as détrempe à pastel. Probably no.67 wasn’t exhibited, so I won’t count it here (5-1=4). No. 60 + 70 are indicated as pastels, but they are also done with tempera (4+2=6). No.73 of Degas was indicated being a pastel, but it was also made with gouache (6+1=7). Degas exhibited some works (no.63+64) made with the technique ‘essence’, which means the oil is thinned with terpetine / gasoline. No.63 maybe also was made of pastel and gouache, this one I will count as mixed technique and no.64 as oil painting (7+1=8). So in total Degas exhibited 8 art-works in mixed techniques. So in total there were probably 9 art-works exhibited made with mixed techniques, about 3,3% of the total amount of 272 art-works.

In 1880 the following 2 partakers exhibited art-works using mixed techniques: no. hc2 of Degas probably was made of pastel and tempera; Jean-François Raffaëlli used a mix of aquarelle and pastel 2x (no.155+157). So in total there were probably 3 art-works exhibited made with mixed techniques, less then 1% of the total amount of 309 art-works.

In 1881 Degas probably showed 1 work made with mixed techniques (hc2). The probably 3 works exhibited as hc4 ‘Esquisses noire’ probably were monotypes, so I will count them as engravings. So in total there was probably just 1 art-works exhibited made with mixed techniques, less than 1% of the total amount of 187 art-works.

In 1882 no.136 of Pissarro is indicated as détrempe (=tempera), I count it as mixed techniques; this 1 work is less than 1% of the total amount of 212 art-works.

In 1886 in no.40 Forain maybe used mixed techniques, but I follow the indication of the catalogue that it was a drawing. No other partaker showed an art-work done with mixed techniques.

So, in total there have been 0+2+9+9+3+1+1+0= 25 art-works exhibited made with mixed techniques / media, this is about 1,2% of the total amount of about 2053 exhibited art-works.

 

 

Sources:
Note: the given suggestions vary from certain (=!), to almost certain (=?!), to uncertain (=?), to very uncertain (=??), to most uncertain (=???), to compare (=compare:). Sometimes I have no suggestion at all. See the accounts of the partaking artists in the left menu (or at the bottom).
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.

 

Recommanded citation: “Impressionism: Overview of the mixed techniques at the ‘impressionist’ expositions (1874-1886). Last modified 2024/02/11. https://www.impressionism.nl/expos-1874-86-mixed-techniques/