Le Magicien – The Magician 1768
etching and drypoint on laid paper; 119 x 82 mm (4 11/16 x 3 1/4 inches)
King Friedrich August II of Saxony, Dresden (Lugt 971)
Christiane Wiebel, Aquatinta oder “Die Kunst mit dem Pinsel in Kupfer zu stechen.” Das druckgraphische Verfahren von seinen Anfängen bis zu Goya, exhib. cat., Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg/Suermondt Ludwig Museum, Aachen, 2007–08, p. 152, fig. 108
A superb impression of the first state (undescribed by Hédou) before the addition of aquatint; in pristine condition with margins all round.
The print belongs to Le Prince’s earliest experiments to achieve tonal effects in his prints. Here, he reworked the etched plate extensively with a needle or stylus and some areas even show the effects of drypoint burr. In the final state, this needle work is still visible but has now been further accented by passages of aquatint.