Au Theatre a Paris


Henri Boutet (1851-1919), Au Theatre a Paris, drypoint, 1884, signed in pencil and inscribed 1 etat (1st state). Reference: Henri Beraldi, Les Gravures du XIX Siecle, Vol. 2, p. 176. In excellent condition, printed on wove paper with full margins, 9 1/4 x 5 1/2, the sheet 13 1/4 x 8 1/2 inches, archival matting.

With the red Boutet stamp (Lugt Supp. 1295a).

A fine rich impression, with much burr from the drypoint work, a light plate tone wiped selectively, e.g., the ribbon is whiter than the background. Boutet apparently used a tiny roulette tool to create the effects of gray shading in the spaces surrounding the model.

This is a proof impression; before the addition of letters at the bottom margin.

Boutet was one of the most talented of the Belle Epoque artists. He made a number of small drypoint portraits of women in tiny editions (20 or so), of which this example is a first state proof. These prints, carefully printed, wiped and signed, are  rarely encountered today, although reproductions of Boutet’s work are quite common. He became popular as an illustrator for magazines such as the Paris-Croquis and Le Courrier Francais, and later founded publications including La Revue Artistique. He was well known at the turn of the century as “le Petit maître au corset” – the small master of the corset.