An aquatint and drypoint printed in colors on cream wove paper. Hand-signed in brown pencil within the platemark at the lower right "Manuel Robbe." This is a fine impression of the definitive state, from an edition of approximately 100.
As one of the 19th century's most gifted printmakers, Manuel Robbe approached printing from a painter’s point of view and in the process created an extraordinary body of graphic work that to this day has not been completely documented. Showing tremendous talent from an early age, Robbe eagerly honed his talents with studies of painting and printmaking. Edmond Sagot, one of the great publishers of the day, recognized Robbe’s talent and in 1898 began to represent him. Robbe’s somewhat Impressionistic style, greatly enhanced by his development of the sugar lift aquatint technique, was well received. Gabriel Mourey, the esteemed editor of “The Studio”, was a great admirer and frequently referenced Robbe’s work in his publication. In addition to his innovations in aquatint, Robbe’s art was elevated from commonplace printmaking by his use of “a la poupee,” a technique in which colors were hand-applied to an etched plate with the use of a special rag brush. This greatly enhanced the painterly quality of his prints and made each work unique. Although Robbe’s subject matter—depictions of bourgeois women enjoying quiet moments—was often tame, his brilliant technique earned him great acclaim.
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