Marche de Gisors (Rue Cappeville) – First State, hand colored

Camille Pissarro – Marche de Gisors (Rue Cappeville)

Camille Pissarro (1830-1093), Marche de Gisors (Rue Cappeville), 1894-5, etching with extensive hand coloring in watercolors, inscribed “no. 2” in pencil, the sheet 7 7/8 x 10 3/8 inches. Reference: Delteil 112, first state (of seven). In very good condition, with wide margins.

A fine impression, the colors vibrant and fresh.

This is one of the three impressions of the first state, each of which was numbered (1-3). It is before a number of lines on clothing, and before 9 lines were added in drypoint to the second house on the left to represent windows.  Small changes were made in subsequent states (mostly pulled in only 1 impression), and in the seventh state 9 impressions were pulled in colors. (After Pissarro’s death in 1903 additional re-strikes were made, in 1923 and 1930.)

This is one of Pissarro’s earlier experiments with color etching; here he hand colors the black and white etching with watercolor, most probably in anticipation of eventually creating the print in color using color plates rather than hand coloring (as in the seventh state). Delteil indicates that the three first state prints were highlighted with color, and our impression is completely colored. The Chicago Art Institute has an impression of the third state which was also colored, although more darkly than our impression.

In 1895 when Pissarro had completed the color plates for this print (they did not change the composition, just added colors) he wrote to Lucien: “I received my colored plates, I had had them steeled. I will send you soon a fine print of …a Market in black, retouched with tints; I think some excellent things can be made in this way….It has no resemblance to Miss Cassatt, it involves nothing more than retouching with colors, that is all. I have already gotten some fine proofs; it is very difficult to find just the right colors.” (Camille Pissarro: Letters to His Son Lucien, ed. with the assistance of Lucien Pissarro by John Rewald. New York: Pantheon Books, 1943.)