Effet de Pluie (Rain Effect)

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), Effet de Pluie (Rain Effect), 1879, etching and aquatint, signed in pencil lower right and inscribed 3e etat – no 3, and titled lower left margins. Reference: Delteil 24, sixth state (of 6). In very good condition, printed on an old cream laid paper (partial initials watermark), the full sheet, 6 3/8 x 8 3/8, the sheet 9 1/2 x 12 5/8 inches.

A very fine impression, printed with a light veil of plate tone in a brownish/black ink.

Effet de Pluie in the first state evidences only shadowy, murky shapes in aquatint only; as Pissarro worked on the plate he added lines in drypoint, converting these inchoate shapes into a haystack, trees, two peasants, and a field, thus establishing the interaction between areas of light and dark.  He added the oblique lines indicating rain in the fifth state, and in the sixth state added the white rain lines against the dark aquatint of the peasants.

Effet de Pluie represents a high point of impressionist printmaking, a culmination of Pissarro’s collaboration with Degas in creating various new effects through inventive techniques.

Only 8-10 proofs are known of the sixth state, and about the same number in total of the prior states.