Russian Ballet


Max Pechstein (1881-1955), Russian Ballet, etching and aquatint, 1912, signed and dated lower right, numbered (24) lower left in pencil. Reference: Krüger, R 71. From the first edition, of 100, to be published by Jahresmappe der Brücke (#7) in 1912 (see note below). In very good condition (slightest traces of soiling in margins), with full margins, 11 3/4 x 9 7/8, the sheet 17 5/8 x 13 1/4, archival mounting.

A fine fresh impression, printed in black ink with aquatint layering on ivory wove paper.  In addition to etching and aquatint Pechstein used burnishing and scraping to achieve various tonal effects.

This print, from the original intended edition of 100, is rarely encountered. Although the intended edition of 100 impressions is thought to have been printed, this Brücke portfolio was never distributed because of Pechstein’s expulsion from Brücke in the summer of 1912 (after he had broken with the Brücke policy of exhibiting only with the group by exhibiting his work individually at the Berlin Secession). This portfolio was to have been devoted to Pechstein’s work.

The only apparent dancers in this Russian ballet are two figures in the background; the other characters appear to be otherwise engaged.