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Rouault, Georges Henri (French, b.1871, d.1958)
La Parade
300 x 267 mm plate size
Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Bequeathed 1973 by Dr Charles Brasch.
Georges Rouault portrayed the extremes of human emotion and action: his paintings, drawings and prints were mostly occupied with visions of suffering and transcendence. A pupil of Gustave Moreau, the Symbolist, and a believer in the philosophy of Léon Bloy, who saw the potential goodness in those who strayed, Rouault created his own Expressionist style. He met the dealer and publisher Ambroise Vollard just before World War I and by 1917 Vollard had become his sole dealer.
Rouault also created graphic works for Vollard’s publications, including this colour aquatint, Parade, which is the traditional title for the particular grouping of clown and ballerina. It was during the Great Depression in the 1930s that he began to use sugar-lift aquatints, a process that provides rich and glowing colours. In Parade figures are crowded onto a stage on which there is minimal personal space and very little headroom – a heavy black is pressing down from above. Although they appear to be interacting, the self-involvement and separateness of the characters are reinforced by the black outline enclosing each.
The master printer Maurice Potin printed Parade as one of eight completed colour aquatints for the unpublished book ‘Cirque’, with text by André Suarès. Only two of the eight are not signed – Ballerine and Parade.

not on view

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