Marche de Gisors (Rue Cappeville), Definitive State

 

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Camille Pissarro (1830-1093), Marche de Gisors (Rue Cappeville), 1894-5, etching colors, inscribed by the artist in pencil lower left “Ep d’etat No. 1 – en couleurs trait noir”, 8 x 5 1/2, the sheet 12 5/8 x 7 1/2 inches. Reference: Delteil 112, seventh state (of seven). In very good condition, with wide margins.

A fine impression, the colors fresh, printed on a cream/yellow laid paper, with “x” registration marks top and bottom to align the plates; various creases, soiling in margins as typical of a proof printed by the artist.

This is the first of the nine color impressions of the definitive state , each of which was numbered (1-9). In the earlier states, before the color plates were added, small changes were made to the plate such as the addition of a number of lines on clothing, and 9 lines added in drypoint to the second house on the left to represent windows.  In this, the seventh state, three new color plates were created, using an orange-red, a blue, and a lemon yellow.  The colors blended differently in each printing, so each is unique, and the colors do not follow closely the color pattern of our first state impression which was hand-colored.  Pissarro was experimenting with composition and color in printmaking; he was not aiming for standardization or regularity, but was fascinated with the variations he could create on a theme. (After Pissarro’s death in 1903 additional re-strikes were made, in 1923 and 1930.)

In 1895 when Pissarro had completed the color plates for this print (they did not change the composition, just added colors) he wrote to Lucien: “I received my colored plates, I had had them steeled. I will send you soon a fine print of …a Market in black, retouched with tints; I think some excellent things can be made in this way….It has no resemblance to Miss Cassatt, it involves nothing more than retouching with colors, that is all. I have already gotten some fine proofs; it is very difficult to find just the right colors.” (Camille Pissarro: Letters to His Son Lucien, ed. with the assistance of Lucien Pissarro by John Rewald. New York: Pantheon Books, 1943.)