Theodore, Roussel (1847-1926), 'The Steamer', Gouache Print, 1922.

Theodore, Roussel (1847-1926), 'The Steamer', Gouache Print, 1922.

Roussel medium.

One of several trial proofs.

Described by Frank Rutter as ‘..a radiant little marine of jewel-like colour.’ The entry, for ‘The Steamer’, from the manuscript catalogue by Agnes MacKay, recorded below, shows the complexities of the process:

Printed from ‘cut’ and ‘uncut’ textile plates of which two series were made. There is a ‘type’ plate for the whole composition and a ‘type’ for the pier, and of boat. 

On a deep blue-green sea the steamer with red and black funnel and brightly coloured detail is seen by the side of pier which has upper and lower structures of green and purple beams, dark red above which is partially covered with green canvas. The sky is lilac-blue with rose cloud of smoke.

The plates are:-

Sea, Sea, Sky.

Two series of cuttings for printing of boat (ten ‘cuttings’ in each series)

Two series of ten cuttings for pier.

Ten ‘uncut’ ‘plates’ – made of specially prepared thin Jap: paper.

Note. The uncut plates of which there are several kinds were often used for printing tones in super position to other tones, as well as for thick ‘impasto’ printing, and those of thin Jap: paper were found to give great delicacy and perfection of detail. (The Jap: paper was very old and of thin silky texture)

About twelve complete were pulled.

The following progress proofs were kept:-

1st print of sky, five proofs

4th printing of sky and sea – completed.

3rd printing sky and sea.

Several trials of colour at various stages of printing, including one of the fourteenth progress state.

Roussel also recorded the composition of the tones used for ‘The Steamer’.

Image Size 13.5 x 19 cm
Paper Size 22.5 x 29 cm
Reference Hausberg 183
Provenance The artist's family

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