George Moore (see B. 27; not in B. CR)
soft-ground transfer pencil drawing, circa 1880, on thin wove paper, signed in pencil, the full sheet, with remains of soft-ground medium offset to the reverse, surface soiling, two small holes in the subject's torso at right, a few tears along the upper sheet edge (some with associated paper loss), a skillfully repaired loss at the upper left sheet edge, a few spots of oil staining and printing ink fingerprints in places, otherwise in good condition
S. 9 x 5¾ in. (229 x 146 mm.)
Robert Hartshorne, New Jersey (L. 2215b)
By descent to the present owner.
see A.D. Breeskin, The Graphic Work of Mary Cassatt, New York, 1979, cat. 27.

Lot Essay

George Moore, the painter turned writer and critic, spent much of the 1870's in Paris among the Impressionists before returning to his native Ireland and London, where he continued to champion the artists' work.

This sensitive portrait of Cassatt's friend is also a revealing artifact of her mature etching technique -- the first step in a process in which she laid down a foundation for the composition in soft-ground and then worked the plate more fully (see also lot 42). The final state of the etching, as illustrated in Breeskin, is developed to the point that the lines seen here are no longer present. Instead, the subject is represented in brush-like areas of light and shadow.

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