La Mort n'a pas Faim
Printed in brownish black ink on tan wove paper, c. 1895. Refs: Exsteens 102, Arwas 118 (ill. p. 125). From the edition of 25, unsigned (which may generally be the case, as the Arwas illustration suggests). Women and female nudity are central topics in Legrand's prints. While many women are depicted elegantly dressed or undressed, quite a few nudes show the artist's appeal for nudes with moralizing subtexts. In our composition, death simply looks the bare chested women in the eye, as such indicating that it cannot be tempted easily. Legrand, however, was no dupe and clearly made every effort to titillate his male audience, rendering explicit nudity, even when it was cloaked in morality. Legrand had been taught many technical etching tricks by the Belgian master, FŽlicien Rops. Rops was unequivocally the foremost artist in Paris devoted to depicting pornography, and some of his visual language definitely passed on to his pupil. Legrand ran into trouble with the law for some drawings reproduced in the press, and was incarcerated after failing to pay a fine. It did not stop him from catering to an avid following of etching collectors who were looking to spice up their private collections; quite on the contrary.