Monday, March 30, 2009

Two intriguing portfolios

I have two portfolios of prints, one issued in 1884, the other in 1888, both entitled, Vingt-cing eaux-fortes par les principaux artistes modernes. The publisher is A. Lévy at the Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts, 13 rue Lafayette, Paris.

The portfolios

Of course the idea of a portfolio of etchings by the principal modern artists working in Paris in the 1880s sends shivers of anticipation down the spine. But as we say in England nowadays, “Calm down, dear. It’s a commercial.” There’s nothing in either set by any of the names that would nowadays seem obvious. And the artists are by no means all French, for they include four Italians and two Spaniards.

Title page etching by Henry Somm

Still, they are fascinating collections. The first thing I realised about them is that many of the etchings date from the late 1860s/early 1870s (so even in 1884 weren’t as moderne as all that), and were originally published by Alfred Cadart. Cadart, who founded the Société des Acquafortistes (1862-1867) was one of the principal forces behind the French etching revival. Between 1870 and 1875 he commissioned and published a large number of etchings, using Auguste Delâtre as his printer. But Cadart died in 1875, aged only 47. From the evidence of my etchings, his widow continued his business for some time (at least until 1880, as her imprint is on an etching by Lhermitte from that year), but evidently by the 1880s the rights had evidently been sold on. In the captions below I will give dates for the etchings when I am sure of them, but there is still quite a bit of research to be done.

Edmond Morin, Averse sur le boulevard, 1876

Lévy was a bookseller and publisher with a strong interest in etching. In 1875 he published the catalogue raisonné of the etchings of Charles Daubigny; the following year he published a collection of etchings by members of the Barbizon School, under the title Le paysagiste aux champs. So he was exactly the kind of person to capitalize on Cadart’s back catalogue.

How many copies of the portfolios were issued is unknown, but they seem to be very rare. I can’t find any record of copies at the Bibliothèque Nationale (though I will admit I’ve never found the BN’s website very easy to use), or any others for sale. So I don’t know if 1884 was the first, or 1888 the last, or if any were issued in the years between.

Adolphe Lalauze, La balançoire

My view is that Lévy was simply offering his customers a kind of lucky-dip selection from Cadart’s back catalogue. The covers and title pages of the portfolios are identical (with an etching by Henry Somm), and both have exactly the same four-page introduction by Roger Marx. The introduction makes no mention of specific artists or prints, and there is no list of contents, so it seems that the purchaser simply got a blind selection of prints.

Antonio Casanova y Estorach, Andalouses, 1877

The two portfolios even overlap, with 9 prints in common; though oddly all the etchings in the 1884 version are printed on china paper pasted onto a wove backing sheet (chine collé), while all those in the 1888 edition are printed directly onto laid paper.

Louis Lemaire, Vase de fleurs

The 1884 portfolio is in much less good condition than the 1888 one, with quite a bit of foxing. Foxmarks are the yellow-to-rust spots that bloom on paper that has been kept in a damp atmosphere that allows mould to grow. Unfortunately they can’t really be removed. But it still has some interesting items, including two etchings by Paolo Michetti one of the foremost artists of the Scuola di Resina, the Italian Impressionists. They are two wonderful pieces, in which the central figures emerge mysteriously from a mass of hasty scribbles. To put this find in context, only one etching by Michetti has been offered at auction in the last twenty years, and that was in 1990.

Paolo Michetti, Cueillette d'olives dans les Abruzzes, 1875

Paolo Michetti, L'enfant au panier, 1878

The 1888 portfolio, apart from being in excellent condition, has another surprise up its sleeve. Instead of 25 etchings, it has 32, plus 8 duplicates. There are also two copies of the title page and the introduction, so maybe at one point there were 50 etchings in all. The treasures here are quite remarkable. There are two copies of Giuseppe de Nittis’s masterly essay in Japonisme, La danseuse Holoke-Go-Zen.

Giuseppe de Nittis, La danseuse Holoke-Go-Zen, 1873

There’s an original etching by Léon Lhermitte, an artist so admired by Vincent van Gogh that in one letter of 1885 Vincent mentions him no fewer that 8 times, ranking him among “the great”.

Léon Lhermitte, Épicerie de village, 1880

There’s an etching by the Barbizon artist Charles Daubigny, Le pré des graves à Villerville, Calvados.

Charles Daubigny, Le pré des graves à Villerville, 1875

There are three etchings by François Feyen-Perrin, one of the most popular artists of his day, famed for his depictions of Breton fisherfolk.

François Feyen-Perrin, Mélancolie, 1870

François Feyen-Perrin, Les filles du pêcheur

François Feyen-Perrin, Derrière un jardin à Veules-en-Caux, no later than 1875

There are three original etchings by Charles Chaplin, who taught Mary Cassatt, as well as an etching after Chaplin by Félix Bracquemond.

Charles Chaplin, Roses de mai, 1877

Charles Chaplin, Avant le bain, 1876

Charles Chaplin, Les colombes, 1864

Charles Chaplin, Les bulles de savon, 1867

Charles Chaplin, Le miroir (etched by Félix Bracquemond)

And there is a copy of Deux idiots mendiants by Alexandre Falguière one of only two original etchings produced by this important realist sculptor/painter; I already have two proofs of his other etching, Caïn et Abel, so I now have his complete catalogue of etchings. This is one of the few etchings I can date to the year of publication of the portfolio, as Falguière's painting Les nains mendiants, on which this etching is based, was exhibited at the Salon of 1888.

Note on the above, added 4 August 2009: I have been puzzling since writing this how the Falguière etching could possibly date as late as 1888, as it was printed by Veuve Cadart, and I am sure she had given up the business way before that date. The etching is signed, and I now realise also dated, in the plate - all in reverse. Looking at it in a mirror, the date is clearly 1876. So the etching came before the painting. As with Caïn et Abel, which received two quite separate printings, in 1876 in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts and in 1902 in the Revue de l'Art ancien et moderne (which mistakenly believed the etching to be previously unpublished), so Deux idiots mendiants was printed twice - in 1876 by the widow Cadart, and in 1888 by L'Artiste, in which the title is given as Nains mendiants - Grenade. The later printing is also distinguishable from the first because it was printed by Taneur, not Cadart. Why it took so long for Falguière to exhibit his painting of this scene, I don't know. But at least the story of Falguière as an etcher begins to make more sense. Both of his etchings date to the same year, 1876, and each exists in two separate editions. This also accords with my theory that Lévy's portfolios were simply a means of shifting Cadart's unsold stock, and apart from Somm's title page did not contain any new work.

Alexandre Falguière, Deux idiots mendiants, 1876

Enjoy the pictures, and for those interested, here is the complete list of works in the two portfolios. They include three completely anonymous works, with no etched signature or printed credit. I append photos of these at the end of this post, and if anyone has a clue as to the artists, I would be very grateful.

Alberto Pasini, Abbrutimento

Édouard Toudouze, Woman fishing

Jules Lefebvre, Rêve

Frédéric La Guillermie, Jeune Bretonne vannant du blé noir au bord de la mer, 1874

Edmond Hédouin, Interior with mother and child, 1876

Célestin Nanteuil, Jacintha, 1866

Vingt-cing eaux-fortes par les principaux artistes modernes, 1884:

Two women walking in a wood

Camille Bernier (1823-1902)
Une ferme en Bannalec (etched by Edmond Yon, 1836-1907)

John Lewis Brown (1829-1890)

Alfred Louis Brunet-Debaines (1845-1939)
La rue d’Orléans à Pont Audemer

Charles Chaplin (1825-1891)
Les bulles de savon
Les colombes

Alfred Alexandre Delauney (1830-1894)
Tour de la Giralda, à Séville

Edmond Hédouin (1820-1889)
Interior with mother and child
Croquis d’une figure

Frédéric Auguste La Guillermie (1841-?)
Jeune Bretonne vannant du blé noir au bord de la mer

Adolphe Lalauze (1836-1906)
Le guet-apens
La balançoire
Le malade imaginaire
À sept ans

Louis Eugène Lambert (1825-1900)
Envoi (etched by Edmond Yon)

Jean-Paul Laurens (1828-1921)
François de Borgia devant le cerceuil d’Isabelle de Portugal (etched by Edmond Yon)

A. Lefort (dates unknown)
Girl knitting

Francesco Paolo Michetti (1851-1929)
Cueillette d’olives dans les Abruzzes
L’enfant au panier

Louis Monziés (1849-?)
Amateur de tableaux

Célestin François Nanteuil (1813-1873)

Alexandre Protais (1826-1890)
La garde du drapeau (etched by Edmond Yon)

Jules Jacques Veyrassat (1828-1893)
Intérieur d’écurie à Samois
Men with horses at a farmhouse

Vingt-cinq eaux-fortes par les principaux artistes modernes, 1888 (duplicates from 1884 marked with a star):

An art auction
Girl gathering flowers

Antonio Salvador Casanova y Estorach (1847-1896)

Charles Chaplin
Avant le bain (2 copies)
Les bulles de savon*
Roses de mai (2 copies)
Le miroir (etched by Félix Bracquemond, 1833-1914)

Charles-François Daubigny (1817-1878)
Le pré des graves à Villerville

Alfred Alexandre Delauney
Tour de la Giralda, à Séville*

Alexandre Falguière (1831-1900)
Deux idiots mendiants (Les nains mendiants)

François Nicolas Augustin Feyen-Perrin (1826-1888)
Derrière un jardin à Veules-en-Caux
Les filles du pêcheur

Alberto Maso Gilli (1840-1894)
Una tentazione

Édmond Hédouin
Interior with mother and child (2 copies)*

Adolphe Lalauze
Le guet-apens (2 copies, one entitled À Les)*
Ah! Tout doux! Laissez-moi de grace, respirer (2 copies)
La balançoire*
Le malade imaginaire (2 copies)*
Hét Éves Vagyok (this is the same etching as À sept ans)*

Louis Eugène Lambert
Kedélyes Fészek (this is the same etching as Envoi)*

Jules Lefebvre (1836-1911)

Louis Marie Lemaire (1824-1910)
Vase de fleurs (2 copies)

Léon Lhermitte (1844-1925)
Épicerie de village

Ricardo de Los Rios (1846-1929)

Edmond Morin (1824-1882)
Averse sur le boulevard

Giuseppe de Nittis (1846-1884)
La danseuse Holoke-Go-Zen (2 copies)

Alberto Pasini (1826-1899)

Alexandre Protais
La garde du drapeau (etched by Edmond Yon)*

Frédéric Regamey (1849-1925)
Coquelin – Rôle de Tabarin

Édouard Toudouze (1848-1907)
Woman fishing

Jules Jacques Veyrassat
Intérieure d’écurie à Samois*

Anonymous, Two women walking in a wood

Anonymous, An art auction

Anonymous, Girl gathering flowers

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sweet Thames run softly

As I’m just about to spend a couple of days in London, I thought I would post a little visual essay on etchings of the Thames between the dawn of Impressionism and the outbreak of the First World War. Some of these are by friends and associates of Whistler, and others by French artists drawn to London and the Thames just as British ones were drawn to Paris and the Seine (I have, for instance, an 1892 etching of Le Pont Neuf by Whistler’s disciple Frank Laing). Chief among the French artists, of course, is Claude Monet; my etchings are interpretative works by Charles Waltner and Gustave Greux, made in 1904, the year Monet exhibited the Thames paintings he had been working on since 1899. These etchings by Waltner and Greux were commissioned and published by the Gazette des Beaux-Arts, as were all of the others except the one by Jacques Beurdeley, which was published by a rival journal, the Revue de l’Art ancien et moderne. So there is a definite ebb and flow of influence to be discerned here; for instance Monet would almost certainly have seen John Postle Heseltine’s etching of Waterloo Bridge before making his own studies of the same motif. There was a fascinating-sounding exhibition in 2005 entitled Monet’s London: Artists’ Reflections on the Thames 1859-1914, which included work by great names such as Tissot, Derain, Pissarro, and Daubigny, as well etchings by two of my favourite lesser-known Impressionists, Félix Buhot and Henri Guérard. I didn’t get to see this, so I suppose I must look out for the catalogue and make do with that. In the meantime, here is my personal take on the same theme.

Arthur Evershed, At Twickenham
Etching, 1876

Arthur Evershed, On the banks of the Thames
Etching, 1876

Arthur Evershed (1836-1919) was born at Billinghurst in Sussex, where his father was a doctor. Evershed himself was to pursue parallel medical and artistic careers. The young Arthur was sent at the age of 16 to study with the landscape painter Alfred Clirt. However at the age of 22, at his father's urging, Evershed abandoned art to study medicine. On graduation he set up practice in Ampthill, Bedfordshire. Nevertheless, Arthur Evershed continued to take his art seriously, exhibiting at the Royal Academy from 1855 (at the age of 19) to 1892. He was made an Associate RE in 1891, and a Fellow in 1898. Despite this late recognition by his peers, the high point of Arthur Evershed's art career was undoubtedly the publication of a highly-favourable essay on "Les eaux-fortes de M. Evershed" in the influential Parisian revue the Gazette des Beaux-Arts in 1876. Written by Alfred de Lostalot, this article put Evershed forward as one of the key English etchers, alongside such names as Seymour Haden and Edwin Edwards. The Gazette also commissioned two original etchings by Evershed, bringing his art vividly to the attention of the French art world. Alfred de Lostalot remarked particularly on the fact that Evershed's etchings - almost all scenes along the Thames - were drawn directly on the copper plates, in front of the motif. This is what gives Evershed's work of this date its Impressionistic freshness - but the Gazette des Beaux-Arts was not the forum to make the crucial connection between Arthur Evershed and the Impressionists. Arthur Evershed made his first etchings in 1872, by which time he was living and working in Hampstead.

James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Fulham
Etching, 1879

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) was born in Lowell, Massachusetts. He came to Europe in 1855, at first dividing his time between Paris and London. In 1860, when his painting La jeune fille en blanc was refused by the jury of the Salon de Paris, and exhibited instead in the Salon des Refusées, a piqued Whistler, always hyper-sensitive to criticism, settled in London. He only returned to live in Paris in 1896, after the death of his wife. Whistler was famous for his friendships and his enmities, most notably his celebrated libel case against Ruskin, and his long-running feud with his brother-in-law Francis Seymour Haden, a surgeon who founded of the Society of Painter-Etchers (now the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers). The cause of the fatal rift between Whistler and Haden, aggravated by professional jealousies and the clash of two strong personalities, was Haden’s refusal to meet the funeral expenses of his medical partner James Traer, a friend of Whistler, after Traer died in a Paris brothel.

John Postle Heseltine, Le pont de Waterloo à Londres
Etching, 1897

John Postle Heseltine (1843-1929) was born in Dilham in Norfolk. Heseltine was an accomplished etcher, who exhibited at the Royal Academy almost every year between 1869 and 1916. Heseltine specialized in landscapes. Freed by private wealth from the constraints that hampered other artists, he was also an avid collector of prints and drawings. John Postle Heseltine was a friend of Whistler, and a member of the Arts Club.

Claude Oscar Monet, Waterloo Bridge, soleil voilé
Etching by Charles Waltner after Monet, 1904

Claude Oscar Monet, Le Parlement de Londres, soleil couchant
Etching by Gustave Greux after Monet, 1904

Monet painted his views of the Thames and Parliament during visits to London in 1899, 1900, and 1901, concentrating on the fog-laden vistas of trembling light that he could see from his room in the Savoy Hotel. He continued to work on the paintings back in his studio in Giverny.

Joseph Pennell, Le débarcadère du Temple à Londres
Etching, 1906

A notable lithographer and etcher, Joseph Pennell (1860-1926) was born in Philadelphia, but spent nearly thirty years in London, where he was a close friend (and eventual biographer) of Whistler. Joseph Pennell returned to America in 1912. This etching shows the landing stage at the Temple.

Jacques Beurdeley, Sur la Tamise
Etching, 1909

The painter and etcher Jacques Beurdeley (1874-1954) studied under Fernand Cormon, to whose studio Toulouse-Lautrec was a frequent visitor. Beurdeley studied printmaking with Eugène Carrière and Auguste Delâtre. Jacques Beurdeley's father was a friend of both Puvis de Chavannes and Whistler, and the influence of Whistler can be seen in Beurdeley's work, along with that of Corot and Meryon.

Paul-Adrien Bouroux, Le Pont de la Tour à Londres
Etching, 1910

Paul-Adrien Bouroux (1878-1967) was born in Mézières in the Ardennes. Although enthused by drawing from early childhood, Bouroux started a career in the Civil Service. It was only when doing his military service in Rouen that fellow-conscripts introduced him to their teacher at the Beaux-Arts, Paris, Luc-Olivier Merson, who offered him informal advice. Back in the civilian world, Bouroux made friends with Victor Focillon, who taught him the art of etching. Bouroux exhibited his first etching with the Société des Artistes Français in 1905, and the following year gave up his job as a tax collector to devote himself to etching. He travelled across Europe etching landscapes and cityscapes. Bouroux served at the front in WWI, collecting his sketches and etchings of the war under the title Au front d'Alsace. After the war he continued his travels, and began to concentrate on producing etchings for limited edition fine press books. Together with the bibliophile Henri Vever and the etchers Charles Jouas and André Dauchez, Bouroux founded the Société de Saint Eloy to publish such works. He received the Légion d’Honneur in 1936. From the early 1950s Bouroux's eyesight began to fail, and at the end of his life he often received assistance from his friend and neighbour Maurice Achener in finishing his plates.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Rebels with a cause

The founding of the Munich Secession (Münchener Sezession) in 1892 anounced the arrival of modernist art as we know it. Unlike the Impressionists, the artists of the Secession (literally, those who seceded from the art establishment of the day) are united more by attitude than by shared style. Symbolism, Art Nouveau (in German, Jugendstyl), Impressionism, Expressionism all swirl around in a heady mix of artistic experimentation, anti-establishment nose-thumbing, and the sheer exhilaration of the shock of the new.

There’s currently a fascinating-sounding show at the Frye Museum, Seattle, The Munich Secession and America. As I can’t make it to that (and haven’t as yet got hold of the catalogue), I thought I’d mount my own little exhibition of prints by artists associated with the Munich Secession and the Berlin Secession that grew out of it in 1898.

I’ll start with one of the central figures of the movement, Franz von Stuck (1863-1928). I have two etchings by Franz Stuck (as he then was, the von came when he was ennobled in 1905). Both are after his own paintings, Fighting Fauns (1889) and Lucifer (1889/90). In date they just precede the founding of the Secession, but in spirit they are exactly the kind of art the word Secession evokes. Lucifer, especially, is a wonderfully powerful piece of work. Apparently when people first saw the painting, they crossed themselves to avert its baleful glare. Even in the etching the proud eyes of the fallen angel really shine from the paper, while his winged figure has a monumental weight and dignity. The rebel angel was, I suppose, a fitting icon for the artistic rebels of the Secession.

Franz von Stuck
Etching, c.1890

Franz von Stuck was born in Tettenweis in Bavaria, the son of a miller. He studied at the Kunstgewerbe Schule (School of Decorative Arts) from 1878-1881, and then at the Academy of Fine Art in Munich from 1882-1884. He was subsequently a professor at the Academy, numbering Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Josef Albers among his pupils. In his day he was immensely influential and highly regarded; for instance Egon Schiele practically worshipped him. His essentially Symbolist art is powerfully infused with that heady fin-de-siècle mix of decadence, sin, eroticism, and existential conflict. His home, the Villa Stuck in Prinzregentstrasse, which in true Jugenstyl manner Stuck designed himself, from the architecture right down to the furniture, the interior decor, and the fixtures and fittings, is now a museum.

Franz von Stuck
Kämpfende Faune
Etching, 1889

Having been overlooked for decades, the art of Franz von Stuck - inspired in its mythological themes by that of Arnold Böcklin - was rediscovered at a retrospective exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, in 1995. A second important exhibition, Franz von Stuck: A modern Lucifer, was held at the Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto in 2006-7.

Alongside the Symbolist art of Franz von Stuck, the Frye Museum show is also concentrating on the work of Fritz von Uhde (1848-1911). Fritz Karl Herman von Uhde was born in Wolkenburg, and studied in Munich. Influenced by French artists such as Michel Cazin and Léon Lhermitte, his work straddles the gap between Realism and Impressionism.

Fritz von Uhde
La petite Emilie
Drypoint after von Uhde by Françoise-Marie Borrel, 1889

Quite a few of the major figures of the Munich Secession were developing a kind of German Impressionism. At the forefront were Max Liebermann (1847-1935) and Leopold von Kalckreuth (1858-1928). The son of a wealthy Jewish businessman from Berlin, Max Liebermann is credited with introducing Impressionism into Germany both as an artist and as a collector. Liebermann is regarded by many as the leading German Impressionist. After the Nazis came to power they seized and destroyed many of Max Liebermann's works from museums and private collections. He is perhaps best remembered today for his etchings, although a 2006 exhibition of his paintings, Max Liebermann: From Realism to Impressionism, at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, and the Jewish Museum, New York, helped to bring this important aspect of his work to renewed prominence.

Max Liebermann
La soupe
Etching, 1901

Max Liebermann
Amsterdamme Judengasse
Etching, 1908

Max Liebermann
Etching, 1923

Leopold Karl Walter, Graf von Kalckreuth, was a painter and printmaker strongly influenced by the Impressionists. Kalckreuth was one of the founders of the Secession. Leopold von Kalckreuth was the son of the landscape artist Stanislas de Kalckreuth. He studied at the Munich Akademie, and subsequently taught at the academies of Weimar, Karlsruhe, and Stuttgart. Kalckreuth was influenced by the art of Millet. He was a close associate of Max Liebermann in the introduction of Impressionist ideas and the Impressionist aesthetic into German art.

Leopold von Kalckreuth
Wagen auf der Dorfstrasse
Etching, 1921

I don’t know if Peter von Halm (1858-1923) exhibited with the Secession. As professor of etching at the Munich Academy of Fine Art, he was a colleague of von Struck, and the landscape etchings I possess certainly show the influence of Liebermann. I also have a wonderful etched portrait of von Halm by his close friend Karl Stauffer-Bern (1857-1891).

Peter von Halm
Motiv vom Bodensee
Etching, c.1892

Peter von Halm
Motiv aus Nussdorf am Bodensee
Etching, c.1892

Karl Stauffer-Bern
Peter Halm

The Berlin Secession, of which Max Liebermann was the first President, was organized on a rather more business-like footing than the Munich Secession, as it had the art dealer and publisher Paul Cassirer as its business manager. While there is still a strong element of Impressionism in the work of an artists such as Paul Baum (1859-1932), it is in the Berlin Secession that Expressionism really emerges as the new German aesthetic, under the guidance of Cassirer, in the work of artists such as Ernst Barlach (1870-1938).

Paul Baum was born at Meissen. He studied at the Academy in Dresden, then in the atelier of the landscape painter Friedrich Peller, and then under Theodor Hagen in the Weimer School of Art. Baum exhibited from 1880. The art of Paul Baum shows the influence of post-Impressionism, especially Pointillism, in its technique and approach.

Paul Baum
Aus Sluis
Etching, 1908

Ernst Barlach was born in Wedel in Holstein. He studied at the School of Arts and Crafts in Hamburg, and then entered the Dresden Academy, where he studied under Robert Dietz. Ernst Barlach then spent a year in Paris at the Académie Julian, discovering the art of Millet, Meunier, and Vincent van Gogh. In 1936, after the Nazis condemned his work as degenerate, the Vienna Secession appointed Ernst Barlach an honorary member. Many of Ernst Barlach's sculptures were destroyed by the Nazis. I’ve posted my Barlach woodcut before, in my post on Degenerate Art, but it seems worth including again here.

Ernst Barlach
Aus de Walpurgisnacht
Woodcut, 1923

Hermann Struck (1876-1944) is a key figure in the Berlin Secession, especially in terms of etching, as he taught many other artists, including Max Liebermann and Marc Chagall, how to etch. His book on the art of etching went through several editions, each illustrated with original prints. Hermann Struck was born in Berlin. His birth name was Chaim Aaron ben David, and his Jewish heritage is central to his work. An early Zionist, Hermann Struck settled in what is now Haifa in 1923.

Hermann Struck
Portrait of Marc Chagall
Etching, 1923

Hermann Struck
Alte Jude aus Jaffa
Etching, 1908

Quite a few like-minded artists from other countries were invited to join the various Secessions. One such member of the Berlin Secession was the leading Norwegian Expressionist, Edvard Munch (1863-1944). His "The Scream" is one of the most famous paintings in the world; it expresses the sense of anxiety and instability that tormented him. Edvard Munch said, "Sickness, insanity and death were the angels that surrounded my cradle, and they have followed me throughout my life." My landscape etching dates from 1908; shortly after creating it, Edvard Munch suffered a devastating mental collapse, and its spare, haunted quality and sense of existential despair is reminiscent of the last works of van Gogh.

Edvard Munch
Etching, 1908

Just to round off this post, here’s another image I’ve posted before, by an artist closely associated with both the Vienna and Berlin Secessions, Oskar Kokoschka.

Oskar Kokoschka
Lithograph, 1920