Description & Technical information

In common with most of Rodolphe Bresdin’s drawings, this drawing is drawn with a very fine pen in black ink (also known as India ink, or encre de Chine) on tracing paper. The majority of Bresdin’s drawings are, in fact, on such transparent tracing paper (in French, papier calque), with the translucency of the paper helping to transfer or reverse designs and motifs to a print medium. Bresdin also made extensive use of papier calque to copy illustrations from books or magazines, a practice he adopted as early as the late 184’s or early 1850s, and which provided him with a rich and varied source of motifs to use in his own work. 

The present sheet is dated 1858, when the artist was living in Toulouse and producing some of the most imaginative and exceptional works of his career. Depictions of fishermen occur occasionally among Bresdin’s drawings and etchings; a comparable small drawing of anglers appeared at auction in Paris in 2014. (The artist himself is known to have fished on the banks of the Garonne river, which runs through the city of Toulouse.) Among other stylistically comparable pen and ink drawings is a Landscape with Smugglers, likewise dated 1858, in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Medium: Pen and black ink on papier calque, laid down.
Signature: Signed and dated 1858 Rodolphe Bresdin at the lower right.

Dimensions: 10.7 x 17.2 cm (4¹/₄ x 6³/₄ inches)
Provenance: In the artist’s studio at the time of his death
The artist’s daughter, Julie Rodolphine Bresdin
By descent in the family of the artist.
Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints