L'Enfant de la Balle
Georges Rouault (1871-1958)
Color aquatint, 1935, from Cirque de l’Étoile Filant, 308 x 205 mm., Chapron et Rouault 249, Wofsy 328. Brilliant impression on thick laid paper with large margins from the edition of 280, the margins slightly folded back on three sides and reduced to about two inches at the left. The title is an idiom meaning one who follows his parents’ profession, especially a theatrical one. It was Rouault’s early training as a glass painter and restorer that led him to his distinctive style, both as painter and print maker, so redolent of stained-glass windows. He was also the favorite student of the symbolist painter Gustave Moreau, and his use of color, probably derived from Moreau, together with his later friendship with Matisse, brought him into the artistic movement called Fauvism. For a time preoccupied with Christian images, he ventured also into a world peopled by clowns, courtroom figures and prostitutes.