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Cirque de l’étoile filante: Pierrot, plate XIV

Georges%20Rouault%2C%20%3Cb%3E%3Ci%3E%20Cirque%20de%20l%26%238217%3B%26%23233%3Btoile%20filante%3A%20Pierrot%2C%20plate%20XIV%3C%2Fi%3E%3C%2Fb%3E%2C%201935%3B%20printed%20by%201936%3B%20published%201938%2C%20color%20aquatint%20and%20etching%20on%20Verg%26%23233%3B%20de%20Montval%20paper%2C%20Museum%20Purchase%3A%20Ella%20M.%20Hirsch%20Fund%2C%20%26%23169%3B%20artist%20or%20other%20rights%20holder%2C%2040.8.14
Georges Rouault, Cirque de l’étoile filante: Pierrot, plate XIV, 1935; printed by 1936; published 1938, color aquatint and etching on Vergé de Montval paper, Museum Purchase: Ella M. Hirsch Fund, © artist or other rights holder, 40.8.14

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Details
Title

Cirque de l’étoile filante: Pierrot, plate XIV

Related Titles

series (original language): Cirque de l’étoile filante

Artist

Georges Rouault (French, 1871-1958)

Related People

publisher: Ambroise Vollard (French, 1866-1939)

Date

1935; printed by 1936; published 1938

Medium

color aquatint and etching on Vergé de Montval paper

Edition

149/250

Dimensions (H x W x D)

plate: 12 1/4 in x 8 3/8 in; sheet: 17 1/2 in x 13 1/8 in

Inscriptions & Markings

signature; date: GR 1935, printed, lower left

Collection Area

Graphic Arts

Category

Prints

Object Type

intaglio print

Culture

French

Credit Line

Museum Purchase: Ella M. Hirsch Fund

Accession Number

40.8.14

Copyright

© artist or other rights holder

Terms

aquatint

circuses

clown

etching

intaglio printing

intaglio prints

paper

Description

The circus fascinated Georges Rouault. From 1904, the subject continually recurs in his paintings and prints. For him, the circus symbolized the human struggle. Here, the artist portrays Pierrot, the Commedia dell'arte character that evolved in France into the melancholy clown. With his downcast eyes, the figure's grave dignity appears in sharp contrast to the comic gaiety of his garb. It was precisely this juxtaposition that moved Rouault, who remarked: "This contrast between bright shiny things, made to entertain, and this life of infinite sadness . . . I saw clearly that the 'clown' was me, was us . . ."

Rouault initially trained as a stained-glass artist, recalled here in his use of strong black outlines to section rich gradations of color. Applying the color aquatint with the brushy strokes of a painter, Rouault blends the two crafts with graphic media.

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