Marguerite Zorach, Temptation,  etching and drypoint, signed, dated (1909) and inscribed “Paris” in pencil, lower right.  In good condition, on a cream laid paper with margins (7 3/4 x 5, sheet 9 3/4 x 7 inches).

A fine impression, with a veil of plate tone, carefully wiped to create dark passages (e.g., to the left of the trees, against the wall).

Marguerite Zorach ( 1887-1968) had enrolled at Stanford, but was invited to Paris by her aunt. On the day of her arrival, in November 1908, she visited the Salon Automne, and so was exposed to the French Fauves. Soon thereafter she met Gertrude Stein, talked with Picasso, and was befriended by Zadkine (and eventually met, and married, William Zorach). In the very rare and early etching (we have not seen another impression on the market) The Temptation we get a feel for the swirl of artistic movements which may have affected Marguerite soon after her arrival in Paris. Though she was later influenced by cubism and expressionism, here the dominant themes appear to be Symbolism and its counterpart in the applied arts, Art Nouveau. So this very unusual etching and drypoint represents a pivotal moment in the history of America’s – and an American’s – adoption of modernism. At the time Marguerite Zorach made this print (1909) she was not yet married to William Zorach (they met in Paris in 1911 and married in 1912); she was still Marguerite Thompson. The print was no doubt signed and dated (for the time the print was made) after she was married to Zorach, and she used her married name when signing it.