Supper of the Apache
Le Souper de l’Apache (original French title)
Etching and aquatint on simili-japon paper, 1904.
References: Arwas 211; Exsteens 191.
Published by Gustave Pellet, with his red monogram stamp (Lugt 1193).
Edition of circa 20, scarce.
From a series intended to illustrate Les Soupeuses, tales by Hugues Rebell, which was never published.
Signed in pencil.
The Apache to whom Louis Legrand refers is not actually a Native American, but rather a slang word in French which has now fallen into disuse. From the late 19th century, and late into the 20th century, the name is meant to indicate the wild nature of a man. The singer Renault uses it well into the 1970s, for instance. So-called Western themes have fascinated many in France ever since they made their way into the literature of the 19th century. Poets such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had an outsized influence in making themes of cowboys and Indians far more common. This fits into a wider tendency towards cultural interests of what was considered far-flung and exotic.
In this image, the wild man seems to be taken some libidinous liberties towards a woman who seems perfectly capable of defending herself should he take this too far.