Jean Fautrier

Violet Hostage

1949, published c.1960–4

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Jean Fautrier 1898–1964
Original title
Otage violet
Etching on paper
Image: 265 × 309 mm
Purchased 1986

Catalogue entry

Jean Fautrier 1897-1964

P77139 Violet Hostage 1949, pub. c.1960-4

Etching, open bite and lavis 265 x 309 (10 3/8 x 12 1/8) on Richard de Bas paper 384 x 566 (15 1/8 x 22 1/4); plate-mark 265 x 309 (10 3/8 x 12 1/8); watermark 1326 [cross banded shield] RICHARD de BAS; printed by Jacques David, Paris and published by Michel Couturier, Paris in an edition of 50
Inscribed ‘Fautrier' b.r. and ‘31/50' b.l. and ‘otage violet' on back t.l. in another hand
Purchased from Lutz Riester (Grant-in-Aid) 1986
Lit: Rainer Michael Mason, Jean Fautrier: Les Estampes, Geneva 1986, p.116 no.239 repr., as ‘Otage violet 2e etat'. Also repr: Edwin Engelberts, Jean Fautrier: Oeuvre gravé Oeuvre sculpté, Geneva 1969, no.1947/15, as ‘Otage violet'

This image, first published in Fautrier l'enragé, Paris, 1949 (p.26), resembles both an ear and a foetus and is one of a series of ‘hostage' images (see entry for P77120). The etching is printed in violet after which the work is named. Fautrier used this colour in a number of prints, for example in ‘La Femme de ma Vie' 1947 (repr. Mason 1986, p.88 no 203 and detail p.182 in col.), ‘La Torse de Femme' 1949 (repr. Mason 1986, p.110 no.230,I) and ‘Orage violet' (repr. Mason 1986, p.184 no.218 in col.). In discussing Fautrier's ‘hostage' paintings Francis Ponge described the colours as ‘violently coloured' (Francis Ponge, Notes sur les Otages peintures de Fautrier, Paris 1946, p.27). According to Engelberts and Mason ‘Otage violet' is printed on Vélin d'Auvergne but P77139 is printed on Richard de Bas.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, p.332

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