Jean-Louis Forain (French 1852-1931), “The Folies Bergère”, Circa 1880

Jean-Louis Forain (French 1852-1931), “The Folies Bergère”, Circa 1880

Code: 11135


H: 20.6cm (8.1")W: 27cm (10.6")


Jean-Louis Forain (French 1852-1931)
"The Folies-Bergère (First Plate)"
Signed within the plate "j.l.forain" lower right.
Etching on paper
First and only state
Circa 1880 

Framed & Glazed

9.4 cm x 14.6 cm (plate)
20.6 cm x 27 cm (sheet)
24.8 cm x 31.1 cm (Framed)

Private Collection, Oxfordshire, U.K.

Original etching in black ink on simulated Japon paper by Jean-Louis Forain. Entitled The Folies-Bergère, the image is the first etching Forain made of the subject, the image shows various figures (three women in hats, centre, and an older man in evening dress with a top hat and cane, to the left in profile) who are arriving at the Folies-Bergère nightclub (suggested by hatched rays of light and rouched lines of can-can dancer's skirts to the right). 

During his lifetime, Jean-Louis Forain, was one of the most successful of the Impressionist artists. The youngest of the group, he was much influenced by Manet and Degas and headed Charles Baudelaire's advice for painters to portray the modern world by depicting Parisian nightlife, dancers, theatre goers, cafés and brothels. The etching here dates to 1880 (Édouard Manet's well-known painting A Bar at the Folies-Bergère dates to 1882).

Forain took part in four of the independent Impressionist exhibitions between 1879 and 1886. During the First World War he produced patriotic French propaganda. Becoming a respected elder statesman of French art he received numerous international plaudits and in 1931, shortly before his death, he was made a member of the Royal Academy in London.

One of the few, genuinely affordable, 'entry level' Impressionist works. Wonderful subject matter and dating from the most desirable era.

Rare. Not in British Museum. See Art Institute Chicago, 1948.356 (Gift of Mr. Frank B. Hubachek), for another impression.

17 Only State, Marcel Guérin, "J. L. Forain, aquafortiste: catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre gravé", Paris, H. Floury, 1912

18 Only State, Alicia Craig Faxon, "Jean-Louis Forain: A Catalogue Raisonne of the Prints", New York, Garland Publishing Inc, 1982

10, Jean Larran, "Inventaire du fonds français après 1800" 17 vol., Paris, M. Le Garrec, 1930