Clearly an accomplished painter, Marcellin Desboutin (1823-1902) is today remembered mostly as one of the most talented draftsman of the 19th century. Ruined in 1873, the independently wealthy artist suddenly had to work for a living. His talents as a gifted portraitist suddenly had to be put to good use. Thanks to his family connection and a likeable personality, he drew and painted many famous contemporaries. Particularly apt at sketching with accuracy, he was always able to depict his sitters’ personalities with vivacity. His portraits of Berthe Morisot, count Lepic, Edgard Degas, Pierre Renoir, Emile Zola… are so many examples of his talent. He was particularly fond of working in drypoint, working directly on the plate, without much preparatory work.e

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