Gigolette

chahineGigaletteaVeniceT399

Edgar Chahine (1874-1947), Gigolette, drypoint, 1924, signed in pencil. Tabanelli 399, from the edition of 50 proofs. Only state.  On a china applique on wove, in very good condition, with full margins, 12 1/2 x 8 3/4, the sheet 19 x 13 inches; archival mounting.

A fine fresh impression printed in dark brown ink, with substantial drypoint burr and carefully placed plate tone. The plate has been wiped more cleanly on the blouse and face of Gigolette, giving these areas a luminous quality.

Edgar Chahine was born in Venice, to Armenian parents, and spent his youth in Constantinople. He moved to Paris in 1895, where he began making prints. Through his objective portrayal of the petite bourgeois, Chahine gave us a portrait of an era.

One popular aspect of his work centers on the elegant ladies of the Fin de Siecle,  but he also portrayed shopkeepers, farmers, café habitues, performers; Gigolette is surely a Venetian subject. Chahine’s landscapes and seascapes show the influence of Whistler, then a printmaking icon. A fire in Chahine’s studio, and a flood in 1942, account for the rarity of his work.