Works from the 1880s

 
  • Claude Monet (1840–1926) 
    View of Rouen, 1883
    Black chalk on blued white Gillot paper
    Sheet: 12 5/16 x 18 11/16 in. (31.3 x 47.5 cm)
    Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1914

    In this drawing executed on a special textured support, Monet translated one of his paintings into graphic form for the purpose of reproducing it in print. When photomechanically transferred to the zinc plate, the dense passages of looping and zigzagging lines, in combination with the vertical striations of the paper, would achieve a tonal effect. 

  • Camille Pissarro (1830–1903) 
    Boulevard de Rochechouart, 1880
    Pastel on beige wove paper
    23 9/16 x 28 15/16 in. (59.9 x 73.5 cm)
    Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1996.5

    Lively strokes of pastel in a multitude of colors create a transparent atmosphere that envelops figures and architecture in the flow of urban life. The high viewpoint plunges the viewer into this Parisian scene. 

  • Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) 
    Old Women of Arles, from the Volpini Suite, 1889
    Zincograph on yellow wove paper
    Sheet: 17 1/4 x 21 3/8 in. (43.8 x 54.3 cm)
    Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1962.69

    The five zincographs on bright yellow paper in this exhibition are part of Gauguin’s Volpini Suite, a series of prints based loosely on his works in other media. The suite takes its name from the owner of the café where Gauguin and other avant-garde artists staged their own exhibition in opposition to the state-sanctioned Exposition Universelle. This sheet is based almost directly on a painting made in Arles during Gauguin’s two-month stay with Vincent van Gogh. The yellow paper used throughout the suite may reflect Gauguin’s esteem for Van Gogh’s sunflowers and his famous yellow house. 

  • Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) 
    Martinique Pastorals, from the Volpini Suite, 1889
    Zincograph on yellow wove paper
    Sheet: 17 ¼ x 21 5/8 in. (43.8 x 55 cm)
    Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1962.67

    The graceful curving lines of the rolling hillsides, the heart-shaped leaves, and the women in native dress evoke a timeless utopia, far from the cares of the modern world. In this print and others inspired by his travels to Martinique in 1886, Gauguin focused on activities of daily life. 

  • Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) 
    Human Misery, from the Volpini Suite, 1889
    Zincograph printed in reddish-brown ink with borderlines in graphite on yellow wove paper
    Sheet: 17 1/4 x 21 1/4 in. (43.9 x 53.9 cm)
    Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1962.61

    The sorrowful woman, head in hands, and the male figure with his brow clouded by shadow call to mind the fallen Adam and Eve with the Tree of Knowledge behind them. 

  • Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) 
    Joys of Brittany, from the Volpini Suite, 1889
    Zincograph on yellow wove paper
    Sheet: 17 ¼ x 21 1/4 in. (43.9 x 53.9 cm)
    Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1962.58

    This image of girls in regional dress performing a traditional dance is characteristic of the bucolic themes of Gauguin’s work in Brittany. With the deliberate naiveté of his manner and the mask-like faces of the young dancers, the artist sought to evoke the primitive quality that he perceived in this region of northern France. 

  • Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) 
    Breton Bathers, from the Volpini Suite, 1889
    Zincograph on yellow wove paper
    Sheet: 17 1/4 x 21 9/16 in. (43.8 x 54.7 cm)
    Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1962.59

    Gauguin’s emphasis on sinuous outline, along with the flattened space and upturned perspective, reveals his interest in Japanese prints. The image was drawn on a grained zinc plate with both crayon and tusche (a greasy liquid used in lithography) applied with a brush. This method of printmaking yields fine gradations from light to dark, as is evident here.