Jules Pascin (1885-1930), Comparaison (Nude Bathers), 1929, drypoint and aquatint, signed in pencil and numbered (99/253). Reference: Hemin 162 (p. 133). In good condition with full margins, slight light stain, on cream wove paper, 7 1/4 x 7, the sheet 16 1/2 x 13 inches.
The plate for this print was not cut squarely, so the top margin is angled; also, at the right of the plate one can see a watery line within the platemark where the plate was not completely bitten by acid.
A very good impression of this rather idiosycratic print. The voluminous nudes, and light virtuoso drypoint lines are characteristically Pascin’s; the darkness and shading of the aquatint gives the print an ominous, disturbing feel – another side to Pascin’s character.
Although the numbering suggests an edition of 253, we believe this number (and the other number shown, 99, might well have been made up; our experience with Pascin prints is that the numbering is often quite arbitrary, bearing no relation to the actual number of impressions printed (which, we believe in this case to have been relatively small).
The plate for this print was not cut squarely, so the top plate mark is angled; also, at the right of the plate one can see a watery line within the platemark where the plate was not completely bitten by acid. These are characteristics of a trial proof; one wonders – again – whether an edition for this plate was even planned. Yet despite it’s curious flaws – it’s hardly an example of professional printing – it has its aesthetic value.
Pascin (born Julius Pincas) was born in Bulgaria, in 1885. By his mid-teens he had experienced life in a bordello, had traveled widely in Europe developing as an artist, and early in the new century ventured to Paris, where he became a fixture in the burgeoning art scene. He had a dozen works in the Armory Show in New York (1913), and soon thereafter became a citizen of the US, living and showing his works in New York. He was married to the artist Hermine David.