La Mare aux Peupliers (The Pond at the Poplars)


James Ensor (1860-1949), La Mare aux Peupliers (The Pond at the Poplars), drypoint and etching, 1889, signed, titled and dated lower margin, also countersigned verso [also signed and dated Ensor 1889 in the plate]. References: Delteil 74, Elesh 74, first state (of two). In very good condition, with full margins, on Simili Japon paper, 6 1/4 x 9 3/8, the sheet 13 7/8 x 18 3/4 inches, archival matting.

A fine delicately printed impression of the rare first state, before the additional darkening lines to the bank at the right, before additional such lines throughout the foreground and in the background foliage.

The print is rarely seen on the market, particularly in a fine example in the first state.

In a tradition reminiscent of Breughel Ensor created landscapes with only a few or no figures (there is a man lurking in the reeds in the lower left of this example) while over-populating other works with various sorts of people, insects and other creatures. Perhaps the serenity of the scenes from nature were a useful antidote to the busy highly populated works, for both artists. La Mare aux Peupliers is one of Ensor’s larger, more ambitious (though no less serene) landscapes; it is impressionist in mood.