La Lutteuse (original French title)


Etching, aquatint, and drypoint printed in color on wove paper.

Reference: Tabanelli 98.

From the edition of 30 printed in color. According to Tabanelli there are as many as sixty impressions in black (which likely means browning black). This seems unlikely to us. Monochromatic impressions are extremely scarce in our experience.

The funfair or carnival, or fête foraine or foire as the French call it, was hugely popular in Paris at the turn-of-the-previous-centuries. This cheap entertainment came with rides such as merry-go-rounds, and circus acts such as clowns. But feats of strength, which directly descended from rural fair competitions, were also common. Wrestlers had official competitions but were also popular in such street settings. And if you thought that watching women wrestling is something recent, this composition should dispel that notion. Here is a woman, dressed in revealing fleshy leotard and minimal loincloth, trying her hardest to push her opponent into the dirt. A crowd of oglers, mostly male, is all too happy to take in the spectacle, heads cocked at whatever angle will give them the best view.

Signed and numbered in pencil.

7 3/8 x 11 5/8 inches