Alphonse Legros Pencil Signed Etching Shepherd's Hut on a Hill France c. 1880


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Title: Shepherd's Hut on a Hill
Bergerie sur le Coteau (French title)
Artist: Alpohonse Legros - (1837-1911) - French/English artist
Technique: Original Etching and Drypoint
Signature: Signed in pencil by the artist, titled in French in the bottom margin.
Date Published: c. 1880
Edition: Limited Edition
Dimensions: Sheet size - 9-1/4 x 13-3/4 inches, Image size - 5-1/8 x 11-3/8 inches, Mat size - 11 x 16 inches.
Condition: Very Good condition with some light age toning from a previous mat window, and a bend in the bottom right corner of the sheet. Very collectable condition for a print that is about 140 years old.
References: In the collections of the National Gallery of Art and the Yale University Art Gallery. Both show it on their websites.
A Catalogue of the Etchings, Drypoints and Lithographs by Professor Alphonse Legros (1837-1911) In the Collection of Frank E. Bliss (1923), No. 608.
Printing: A strong impression printed by the artist in black ink on natural wove paper.
Presentation: Placed in a cream collector's mat. Blank on the back, not laid down. Ships in a plastic archival sleeve.
Description: During his lifetime Alphonse Legros was a major artistic force whose works were highly collected in France where he was born, in England where he spent a major part of his artistic life, and in the U.S. His presence in England during the later years of the 19th century and early years of the 20th century had a great impact on England’s etching revival and printmaking in general. Portraits were one of his great strengths.

As Shepherd's Hut shows, Legros was also a master landscape etcher whose works were equal to the great etchers who had preceded him. His etchings were often of rustic rural scenes like this simple hut with its thatched roof. He was skillful at drawing trees, showing in this work the contrast between the trimmed and gnarly tree at the right and three slender elegant trees at the left.

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Alphonse Legros was the single most influential European printmaker upon the development of the etching revival in England. Born in Dijon, Alphonse Legros studied art in France and was persuaded to move to London in 1863 by James Whistler, whom he had met in Paris.

In England, Legros married an English woman and later became a naturalized citizen. Legros rapidly achieved recognition for his highly accomplished etchings and in 1875 was placed in charge of the etching class at the Royal College in South Kensington and the following year was made Professor of Fine Art at the influential Slade School. It was during his eighteen years in this post that Alphonse Legros was to have a major influence on the artistic direction of an entire generation of British printmakers.

Not only did Alphonse Legros propound a light, uncomplicated style of etching, but he brought with him certain French concepts of art which were in total contrast to the heavily worked genre art of Victorian England. Alphonse Legros’ artistic development had stemmed, almost entirely, from his formative years in France prior to 1863, during which time the Barbizon school of artists were ascendant in original etching. It is their sense of open air landscape, together with a naturalistic handling of light, which Alphonse Legros introduced to English etching and which is crucial to his importance in the history of original printmaking.

The works of master artist Alphonse Legros can be found in major collections throughout the world.

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