Félicien Rops’ view of the Belle Époque always borders upon the decadent. Like those who came after him such as Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Louis Legrand and others, much of Félicien Rops’ art concerned the depiction of prostitutes. The prevailing Victorian sensibilities in England suppressed even the possibility of such imagery; however, in Europe decadent art of this nature was beginning to flourish.
The method of production of this particular plate remains unclear. Exsteens believed the fundamental plate to have been through the heliogravure process by L. Evely, but suggests that the plate was then heavily reworked in aquatint by Félicien Rops. There is no doubt that the basic image has been produced from a drawing by Rops using the heliogravure process; however, it is apparent that the plate has been further retouched with soft ground etching and possibly with small areas of aquatint.
This impression is between Exsteens’ first and second states of the plate, prior to darkening of the girl’s hair and general adjustment of the grey tonality of the image; however, Exsteens remarks upon the existence of more than one plate of this image and his cataloguing appears loose.
On heavy cream wove paper, watermarked Arches, with full margins and deckle edge. Very good original condition.