Un Reve

marcoussisaureliaLouis Marcoussis (1883-1941), Un Reve, etching, 1930, signed in pencil lower right and inscribed “2nd etat 1/2” lower left. Plate 1 of the portfolio Aurelia. Reference: Milet 55II, second state (of 4), before the edition (of 153 in the fourth state). In good condition, on a wove paper with full margins (a small area of discoloration below the border lower left, remains of prior glue right margin edge), 7 1/4 x 5 3/8, the sheet 15 5/8 x 9 3/8 inches, archival matting.

A fine impression of a rare proof, before the edition. This is one of the two proofs of the second state. After this state the plate was reduced in a third state (from 183 to 174 mm), and then steel faced for the edition.

Provenance: Libreria Prandi Reggio (blindstamp lower right corner)

Jean Cassou and Pierre Courthion asked Marcoussis to illustrate Aurelia, a novel by Gerard de Merval. This was the first album of their collection “Le Blanc et Le Noir,” edition chez Fourcade. Marcoussis was familiar with this novel, in which imagination and reality intermingle. In it de Merval wrote: “La Reve est une seconde vie.” (The Dream is a parallel life.) Marcoussis wrote of the print: “Il ressemblait a l’Ange de la Melancholie d’Albrecht Durer.” (It recalls the angel in Durer’s Melancholia.)