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Prints and Authors in the Time of Manet

Félix Bracquemond
French, 1833–1914

Portrait of Edmond de Goncourt

Etching, 1882
Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1982.89

As a crucial figure in the revival of etching in France, Félix Bracquemond created virtuosic prints and offered encouragement and technical advice to such artists as Manet, Degas, and Pissarro. This portrait of the novelist and art critic Edmond de Goncourt (1822–1896) was based on a drawing Bracquemond had shown in the 1880 Impressionist exhibition. There it was lavishly praised by the critic Paul Mantz, to whom this impression of the print was dedicated. The Rococo and Japanese objects surrounding Goncourt showcase his passion for collecting and reference the influential essays he had published. The portfolio of etchings in front of him is a memento of his beloved brother and collaborator Jules, who had died in 1873.