Henri Delavallée (1862-1943) seemingly painted all of his life, but only etched for approximately 5 years. He left behind some beautiful canvases and drawings, especially pointillist landscapes, as well as animated vistas with horizons that remind of Charles Dulac’s symbolism. And while some of these unique pieces fetch some money today, in our opinion Delavallée deserves to be remembered mostly for some of the nearly 70 etchings he left behind. A few uninteresting Turkish compositions exist. He lived there for approximately 6 years. But some of his Breton and Parisian subjects are truly remarkable. In Paris Delavallée etched a few beautiful portraits and night scenes. In Brittany he focused on portraits of some older inhabitants and atmospheric landscapes. His etching technique, which mixes soft-ground, aquatint, line etching and touches of drypoint can be said to be among the most accomplished of its time. He is thought to have learned some of his skill from Henri Guérard, which is unverified. He is however known to have been friendly with another great etcher: Camille Pissarro. The etchings of the master certainly made an impression on Delavallée. But Delavallée became any bit as accomplished, if not as prolific. His etchings are rich and delicate; weather, fabrics and nature’s textures are palpable.
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