La Fumee du Bateau

Raffaelli - La Fumee du Bateau

Jean-Francois Raffaelli (1850-1924), La Fumee du Bateau, color etching and drypoint, 1911, signed and numbered in pencil  lower right. Reference: Delteil 98. In very good condition, the full sheet, printed on a firm cream wove simile Japon paper, 7 3/4 x 5 1/2, the sheet 12 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches.
A fine fresh impression, printed in colors (blue, blue-green, yellow, reddish brown, black), with substantial burr from the drypoint work.
Raffaelli used different plates to create this print, using tiny registration holes to align the prints. In From Pissarro to Picasso: Color Etching in France, Cate and Grivel write that Raffaellis works employ such minimal color that one wonders why he went to the trouble of creating a sequence of plates for each image. They are more akin to simple but elegant etchings or drypoint prints, highlighted in color a la poupee or with watercolor applied by hand or by stencil onto the paper.  But he was a kind of purist, who focused on printmaking a bit more than his French colleagues; a print made entirely of successive plates would be more likely to have a consistent look than a colored work with the print supplying the structure and composition. And, as here, the colors derived through the printmaking process tend to be more subtle and integrated in the print than colors derived through other means.