Labor or The Farmer with the Hoe
Labor or Le Paysan à la Houe (original titles)
Etching on parchment (also known as vellum).
References: Beraldi 345; BN-IFF 390.
After a composition by Jean-François Millet.
Eighth state of nine. Edition of 250 printed by the artist in this state, either on simili-japon or parchment, according to Beraldi. The size of the edition seems unlikely. This print has become incomprehensibly scarce. It is also unclear if Bracquemond singed all in the edition. Most impressions we have been able to locate are signed.
Signed in pencil.
The plate is quite a bit larger than the image, and it exceeds the edge of the sheet at the top and bottom. In nearly perfect condition. Very faint foxing, barely noticeable. A thin band of discoloration in the sheet edges, probably from having been hinged to mat board at some point.
An arrestingly beautiful print, of one of Millet’s most famous works. Along with Les Glaneueses, L’Angelus, and a few other paintings, this is one of Millet’s best-known compositions. It was regarded at the time as an ode to the dignity of work. The painting today resides at The Getty in Los Angeles. Bracquemond made a few larger etchings after Millet’s most famous paintings. All can be regarded as some of his most elaborate and beautiful etchings and can be found in museums all over the Western Hemisphere.