Oiseaux de proie (Birds of Prey), 1893

Victor Emile Prouvé

Etching and aquatint in olive green ink

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edward A. Foster, 1965 P.13,402

Not on View

In the 1890s, fortified by symbolist literature, artists searched for imagery to express the workings of the mind —or what painter and designer Victor Prouvé called “inner commotion.” Fin-de-siècle research into the unconscious and suggestibility, in fact, was being pioneered in Prouvé’s hometown of Nancy. Using a sickly green shade of aquatint, he evoked anxiety by picturing a menacing dream state in which raptors engage in beak-to-beak combat and buzzards await their next meal. In the foreground, two human figures can be detected floating in the miasma.

Image: No Copyright–United States. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edward A. Foster, 1965

Prints of Darkness: The Art of Aquatint

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