Georges Rouault (1871-1958), France

Le Noir libéré

, 1928

Etching, aquatint, drypoint and roulette

11 3/4 x 8 1/4 in. (29,8 x 21 cm)


About this artwork

Georges Rouault (1871-1958) is a well known French expressionist artist. First apprenticed to a stained-glass maker, Rouault studied after 1891 under Gustave Moreau. He exhibited several paintings with the fauves in 1905. His sorrowful and bitter delineations of judges, clowns, and prostitutes caused a great stir in Paris. The suffering of Christ was his frequent subject. His thickly encrusted, powerfully colored images, outlined heavily in black, have the effect of icons and a pattern suggestive of stained glass. About 1916, Rouault began more than a decade of work for the publisher Ambroise Vollard. Using a variety of graphic techniques, he executed a series of about 60 prints called Miserere.

This aquatint was included in Vollard’s Réincarnation du Père Ubu (1932), a sequel to Alfred Jarry’s play Ubu Roi (1896). Vollard was much taken with Ubu and enlisted Rouault to prepare illustrations to his own sequel.