The Masterpiece


Le Chef d’Oeuvre (original French title)

Drypoint, aquatint and roulette printed in four colors, à la poupée (yet from two registered plates) on wove paper.
Reference: Ginestet et Pouillon 74.
Edition of 20.  Very scarce.
Published by Edmond Sagot, Paris, with his drystamp (Lugt 2254).
Signed and numbered “No 8” in pencil.

A very fine impression in very condition, with the colors fresh.  The slightest discoloration inside a prior mat window, barely noticeable. With some unobtrusive tone in areas of the verso.

Note about the composition:

Villon’s whimsical take on the interaction between mother and her daughter is priceless.  The masterpiece, clearly a drawing made by the child for her mother, does not seem to impress!  The girl sits frozen, literally depicted as a gray statue fading into the background.  Her hands on her knees, she seems resigned to the judgement passed by her mother.  The lovely color hat of the mother contrasts with the girl’s bonnet and the drawing held in the mother’s hand.  While the child, the drawing, and the background are printed in bistre (brownish-gray), the mother is shown wearing a black coat and a colorful hat.  It’s as if both of them belonged to different worlds.  If the mother has the intention of bridging the divide, with a kind word maybe, or the offer of a treat, she hasn’t done so at the time Villon chose to depict.

12 x 16 inches