Le Ciacolone (Les Bavardes), Venise


Edgar Chahine (1874-1947), drypoint,  Le Ciacolone (Les Bavardes), Venise, 1922, signed, titled and numbered (74/100) in pencil. Reference: Tabanelli 348, third state of three, from the edition of 100.  On a green laid paper with a letters watermark.  With small margins, 12 1/2 x 8 1/2 (the sheet 13 1/2 x 10).  In generally good condition apart from nicks and remains of old hinging right margin edge; fold at lower right; the image surface excellent, archival mounting.

A fine atmospheric impression, printed in brownish/black ink on an old green laid paper, with a veil of plate tone but carefully wiped to create areas of light (e.g., the blouse of the woman at left), and with ink left on the plate to create areas of shadow (e.g., lower left).  The very heavy burr from the drypoint work gives the print a satiny glow.

Les Bavardes was created at a propitious moment in Chahine’s career – he had recently married Julia Gaumet, had left Paris and traveled through France and down to Venice. At the height of his artistic powers (and about to receive much recognition back in Paris), his Venice portraits of this time are quite different from his earlier Belle Epoque work – he portrayed women with children, little known Venetian alleys and courtyards, and, as in this example, older Venetian women talking in the streets.