ELEUTERIO PAGLIANO (Casale Monferrato 1826 - Milan 1903) A LION
Etching, a rare print, unsigned, which has never had an edition, unlike many other prints by Pagliano published in art magazines as 'L'Arte in Italia'. Catalogued by Amalia Mezzetti, in 1935, as a work by Gioacchino Banfi, the etching has been recognized as Pagliano's work by Alfredo Petrucci, who reproduced an impression, signed in pen, in his book devoted to the Italian etchers of 19th century. See Alfredo Petrucci, 'l'incisione italiana, l'Ottocento', Rome, 1941. Petrucci considered 'il leone' among the best etchings by Pagliano. In fact the print shows the characters of an experimental etching, much different from the majority of the known prints by the artist, often reproductive after his own paintings and showing a skillful but rather controlled technique. Here, to depict, part of the shadows around the wild animal, the artist used the 'open bite' etching, that is the direct brushing of the plate with neat acid, a useful way for creating tonal variations, but difficult to control if used over large areas.
The impression, richly inked, has been printed on an old sheet of eighteenth century laid paper, another element which indicates the print as an artist's proof. With margins, minor defects, generally in very good condition. To the plate-mark 230 x 300 mm, the entire sheet measuring 310 x 415 mm.
My warmest thanks to Antonio Bariletti for his help in cataloguing this print.