Silhouette de Femme

circa 1895

Eugène Delâtre (1864-1938)

Dramatic portrait in etching and aquatint, ca. 1895, 327 x 257 mm., Bibliothèque Nationale Inventaire undescribed. This is a fine artist's proof in black, perhaps unique, before the edition of fifty in color, on thin japan appliqued to laid paper, with full margins, signed in pencil and annotated "Ep. D'artiste." A tiny surface scrape at the lower left corner. The image is apparently unknown to the Bibliothèque Nationale, although in both its color version and the monochrome proof it is one of Delâtre’s most attractive. It is thought to be a portrait of Mme. Delâtre. The impression comes from the collection, or the inventory, of Charles Hessèle (Lugt 554), who was a print dealer and publisher in Paris in the early years of the twentieth century, specializing in modern and contemporary works. During World War 1, his stock was sequestered by the government as "the property of a subject of a nation at war with France" (Hessèle was apparently German), and was never returned to him, but sold by judicial order after the war.

12 7/8 x 10 inches