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Félix Bracquemond

  1833 - 1914
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Les Mouettes (Sea-gulls)

Les Mouettes (Sea-gulls)   1882

Original etching.

Magnificent impression, printed on vellum and signed in pencil by the artist. A truly superb example of the completed image, before all letters.

Mouettes (Seagulls) is the artist’s magnum opus of birds in flight, transforming the beauty of a circling flight of gulls above rolling waves into a graceful swirl of lines to produce a harmonious pattern of exceptional beauty.



Best known for his outstanding etchings of birds, Félix Bracquemond was, without doubt, one of the most influential original printmakers of his era. He was responsible for introducing the leading Impressionist painters to the methods of etching, teaching Corot, Manet, and Rousseau etching technique - he is known to have bitten Corot’s plates for him. Indeed, Felix Bracquemond is considered to have been a prime mover in the revival of original printmaking in France, having been a key member of the small group of creative etchers who founded the Société des Aquafortistes in Paris in 1862.

A brilliant master of etching and engraving technique, he was highly skilled as both an original and a reproductive printmaker. Charles Meryon once said of Felix Bracquemond “I cannot etch. That one, there, he is the true etcher”. Felix Bracquemond was, however, far more than just a skilled printmaker - he was one of the most versatile and prolific artists of his generation, exhibiting many paintings, watercolours and pastels, and producing nearly 800 etchings, along with designs in many other media. In particular, both Félix his wife Marie Bracquemond were deeply involved with the Impressionists, contributing extensively to their various exhibitions. [more]