Moving and powerful color aquatint print by Georges Rouault, dated and monogrammed in the plate (lower left corner), titled “Triste Os,” which translates to “Sad Bones” or, perhaps more meaningfully, “Weary Bones” in English. It is Plate VIII in a series published collectively in a limited edition of 250 as “Cirque de L’Étoile Filante” (“Circus of the Shooting Stars”).

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has this to say about this print and the larger portfolio of which it was a part:

“By the 1930s, Rouault’s already considerable international reputation as a painter was enhanced by his prolific achievement as a printmaker, which included his production of illustrated books. Each plate of The Shooting Star Circus, published as a loose folio, features a portrait of a circus performer in costume. The inky blacks of the etched plate, a signature of Rouault’s style, increase the vibrant, even garish, colors of the troupe’s gaudy attire. Rouault was particularly fascinated by the road-show clown, who lived an improvised existence at odds with his humorous appearance on stage. He poses his figures in moments of solitary reflection, their isolation in full stage regalia serving to heighten the feeling of alienation, absurdity, and pathos.”

The measurements of the print are as follows:

Plate: 12-3/8 x 8-1/8"

Sheet: 15-3/4 x 11-3/8" (wove paper)

Frame: 20” x 15.75”

It is in original “as found” condition and has not been examined out of the frame. Frame and glass are in excellent condition.

References: Alan Wofsy, Georges Rouault: The Graphic Work (San Francisco: Alan Wofsy Fine Art, 1975), 326; Francois Chapon and Isabelle Rouault, Rouault Oeuvre Grave (Monte Carlo: Editions Andre Sauret, 1978), 247.



Georges Rouault Original Etching and Color Aquatint “Triste Os” (“Weary Bones”), Plate 8 From "Cirque de l'Étoile Filante" (“Circus of the Shooting Stars”), Limited Edition 250, c.1934


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