JEAN-FRANÇOIS RAFFAËLLI Ragpicker ca. 1880 - x +

CN: RaJF1880ragp

MT: hand-colored aquatint etching (22x12)

TX: signed by printing at lower left <JFRAFFAËLLI>

DN: Mr. Takis Efstathiou - 2008

CM: Of the many now famous artists associated with the movement of French Impressionism it can be stated that Jean-François Raffaëlli was one of its finest etchers. As an engraver, he produced prints with remarkable colors. Less gifted as an illustrator, one may nevertheless cite his collaboration with Forain on Joris-Karl Huysmans' Croquis Parisians (1880). Unlike most of the Impressionists, Raffaëlli devoted himself more to original print making than to painting. Delteil's catalogue raisonne on Raffaelli's graphic art lists one-hundred-and-eighty-three prints, with all but five in the mediums of etching and engraving. His drypoint engravings (both in colors and in black-and-white) made him famous, particularly in his studies of Parisian life. One contemporary critic labeled him the 'Millet of Paris'. Another scholar wrote, "In quest of character, Raffaëlli was naturally drawn to the poor classes, who, being less artificial, less affected by the leveling tendencies of a complex social life, offered to the artist's keen observation an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Like Millet, he expressed the life of the poor in their attitudes... He is a wizard in characterizing surface appearances; a brilliant 'imagier', an exquisite illustrator; and as a drypoint artist the author of plates which will never cease to delight the connoisseur." [F. L. Leipnik, A History of French Etching, London, John Lane, 1924, p. 183]

[Megakles 01/2008]

DELTEIL, LOYS Les Peintre-Graveur Illustre: Raffaelli, Volume XVI, 1969 Da Capo Press, New York