En Cabinet Particulier (1er planche)
Jean-Louis Forain (1852-1931)
Etching, 217 x 278 mm., Guérin 66 only state. Superb, rich and probably unique trial proof, with manipulated plate tone, on Van Gelder laid paper with large, full margins (about 1 inch of the upper margin previously folded under and showing bits of old hinging tape; printer's crease in the outer, blank margin), signed in pencil and inscribed “ep. d’essai.” The edition of the print was only 15, but Guérin’s illustration of it shows an uneven image with some lines barely visible, hardly comparable to this impression. A “cabinet particulier” is a small, private room in a restaurant, available, at a price, to diners. As Forain shows, here and elsewhere, it was often given over to pleasures other than eating and drinking. Forain was involved in social criticism for most of his artistic career, politically sometimes on the wrong side, but invariably defending the poor and the abused.