Pissarro: Self Portrait

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), Self Portrait, about 1890, etching on zinc, Delteil 90, second state (of 2), signed and annotated by the artist in pencil: “1er etat, No. 8, portrait.” From the edition of about 26 impressions printed by the artist. In excellent condition, on the full sheet with wide margins, 7 1/2 x 7 1/8, the sheet 14 x 10 7/8 inches; plate destroyed. There was a posthumous edition of 22 impressions.
A very fine impression, printed with black ink on a cream wove paper.

Delteil describes a first state, of great rarity if not unique (location unknown), in which the hat is shaped differently and there are fewer etched lines in Pissarro’s beard. If this impression is considered a working or trial proof, then Pissarro’s annotation of this and other proofs as impressions of the first state would be considered correct.

Pissarro’s Self Portrait is among the great graphic self portraits, including those by Goya, Degas, and, of course, Rembrandt. Pissarro etched only one self portrait, at age 60. Barbara Shapiro noted in “Camille Pissarro, the Impressionist Printmaker” that “Pissarro’s self-portrait evokes a pensive quality and psychological insight that is worthy of Rembrandt.”