Enfants Causant (Children Talking)


Camille Pissarro (1831-1903), etching, 1889,  signed, titled and inscribed “No. 6 Epreuve de Artiste.” Reference: Delteil 89, third state (of 3). On tan laid paper. In good condition (slight time staining and spotting), with margins and archival mounting.

A fine impression of this charming composition, a great rarity.

Only 7 or 8 impressions of this state of the print were made (and only 10 or 11 in all, each personally printed by Pissarro), each signed, numbered and annotated. (Another 12 impressions were taken posthumously, but of course they lack the character, atmosphere and quality of the lifetime impressions; these were stamped and numbered.)

Few changes were made in Enfants Causant from state to state. In the third state Pissarro added a small tree trunk in the background, and extended the hair of the girl standing at the right down over her shoulders.

Pissarro did not like professional printing of his etchings, and so he printed most of his plates himself (Degas apparently printed many Pissarro proofs). The concept was not to produce a large edition of prints similar in appearance (only about 5 of Pissarro’s prints were in fact editioned during his lifetime); printmaking for Pissarro was a way of experimenting, achieving variations in light, mood, sensibility, with each proof. He did not intend to earn much money through printmaking (and he never did).