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Erik Desmazières


Projet d'Agrandissement du Passage du Bourg l’Abbé (Paris) by Erik Desmazières

Projet d'Agrandissement du Passage du Bourg l’Abbé (Paris)   1987

  Etching with roulette work, finished by hand as a painting with watercolour and gouache.
Signed and inscribed in pencil.
Ref: Fitch 128, unique working proof.
S 729 x 545 mm; P & I 619 x 450 mm
Unique working proof impression finished by Erik Desmazières as a painting with watercolour and gouache. Dating from two years earlier than the published version of this etching, this unique proof is prior to the classical statues either side of the main entrance arch and before details at the sides of the image outside the main entrance columns were completed. The later published etching was catalogued by Fitch as Passage du Bourg l’Abbé (Fitch 128).

One of the first two designs made by Erik Desmazières for what was to become a series of six etchings created over a period of five years and published under the title Passages Parisiens – Projets d’Agrandissement. Erik Desmazières began the first two plates for this grand project in 1987 with Passage du Bourg l’Abbé and Passage Verdeau. This unique, hand-painted impression was the master proof upon which the design of Passage du Bourg l’Abbé was based. Finished in 1987 by the artist in watercolours and gouache as a standalone painting, it shows Desmazières’s freshly conceived design at its very finest. Over the next two years, Desmazières was to add two gigantic classical statues atop the columns either side of the main entrance arch and was to introduce further detail at the extreme sides of the plate, outside the main entrance columns. The etching was then published (in 1989) in an edition of 30 numbered impressions printed in black ink. Between 1989 and 1991, a further four etchings were created for the series. In 1991 all six etchings were published, along with an etched frontispiece, in an edition of 60 numbered impressions in an album entitled Passages Parisiens – Projets d’Agrandissement. It was upon completion of this great etching project that the second catalogue raisonné of the printed works of Erik Desmazières was published.

An exceptional piece in which the artist has enlarged and elevated the Passage du Bourg l’Abbé in Paris into a majestic architectural fantasy. Erik Desmazières only ever created one or two paintings of this nature from the finest early proofs of his most important plates. This style of painting created from an etching represents the ultimate collector’s piece amongst the works of Erik Desmazières.

On warm white wove Tiepolo Fabriano paper with full margins. Generally very good original condition, image surface excellent.

Provenance: The artist’s studio; private collection, Switzerland.