Bill Lying on His Mother's Lap (B. 101)
soft-ground etching and aquatint, circa 1889, on laid Blauw verdâtre, a rich, experimental impression, Breeskin's second state (of five), signed in pencil, with full margins (slightly uneven, deckle along all sides), minor surface soiling (stronger at the upper right margin corner), occasional soft handling creases, the R. Hartshorne inkstamp at the reverse of the lower right image corner (slightly showing through), pinholes at the lower left and right margin corners, a few areas of stray printing ink in the margins, printing creases and rippling in places at the margin edges, soiling on the reverse, hinge and glue remains in places at the reverse of the upper margin edge, otherwise in good condition
P. 7 1/16 x 5 7/16 in. (179 x 138 mm.)
S. 14 5/8 x 10 in. (372 x 254 mm.)
Robert Hartshorne, New Jersey (L. 2215b)
By descent to the present owner.
A.D. Breeskin, The Graphic Work of Mary Cassatt, New York, 1979, cat. 101.

Lot Essay

As Cassatt refined her skill in printmaking, she began to combine soft-ground with aquatint to achieve sophisticated tonal effects. Bill Lying on His Mother's Lap is an early experiment with using both techniques on one plate. Eventually, with the help of master intaglio printer M. Leroy, she would perfect this approach in her famous aquatints (see lots 54-56).

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