Feu Sous l'Eau (Fire Under Water)

Stanley William Hayter

'Feu Sous l'Eau' (Fire Under Water), engraving, soft-ground etching, and scorper, with yellow silkscreen onto the plate, edition 50, plus 10 artist proofs, 1955, B&M 221.

Signed, titled 'Fire Under Water', dated and annotated 'Essai' in pencil. Dedicated in the artist’s hand for 'Adja and Dove WH Bill 17–5–55' in the top margin.

Image size 10 3/16 x 7 inches (259 x 178 mm); sheet size 18 1/8 x 12 1/4 inches (460 x 318 mm).

A superb, richly-inked impression with fresh colors, on heavy cream wove paper, with wide margins (2 1/2 to 3 7/8 inches), in excellent condition. One of 10 artist proofs. Published by La Jeune Gravure Contemporaine, Paris.

"In 1950, Hayter returned to Paris and reopened Atelier 17. Works such as 'Fire Under Water' reveal new influences, such as that of the Ardèche, an area of southern France he visited frequently after acquiring a house there in 1951. Hayter took great interest in the flowing Escoutay River, an experience that parallels the artist and co-director of Atelier 17 Krishna Reddy’s interest in the depiction of water. While some forms in this print evoke the natural world, the palette of contrasting tones of purple, yellow, black, and white reflects Hayter’s belief that color should be used intuitively to express an emotion or evoke certain feelings. The sharp white relief lines from the paper and the textural effects realized through soft-ground etching operate in tandem with the sweeping curves and bold colors to give the composition a sense of vitality and dynamism." —Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Collections: British Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art.

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10 3/16 x 7 inches