Five Angora Rabbits
Vijf Angorakonijnen (original Dutch title)
Lithograph with embossing on light-gray chine-collé, 1898.
Reference: De Groot 86.
Edition unknown. There seems to exist an edition of this print as part of an extremely scarce portfolio titled Dierenstudies (ENG: Animal Studies). These prints are said to have the number 2 in the lower right image corner. We have failed to see this marking. We are therefore unclear whether or not there are indeed two states, and two editions. Either way, the image seems to stay the same.
This impression had remained unsigned at the death of the artist. His friend Richard Roland Holst stamped this impression to acknowledge its authenticity and signed it in pencil.
Faint thin scattered foxing mostly in the bottom margin; a few tiny spots in the left chine edge, unobtrusive. A beautiful dark and even impression with the stone’s pressure showing, and the rabbit fur dimensional.
This is perhaps the most famous lithograph by the Dutch master of the technique. For this print van Hoytema not only depicted strands of fur in the negative space of the dramatic dark background as well as with scraping tools in the shaded black of the pelts, he actually carved the stone with lines, which create an embossed effect when printed under high pressure on this paper. These colorless and delicate lines can be seen in raking light. This tour de force, along with the charmingly dramatic composition, is what has made this print so famous, reproduced in a number of high-profile books dedicated to Dutch printmaking.