Twilight with Haystacks, 1879
Danish, French, 1830
aquatint with etching and drypoint in reddish-brown ink on laid paper
Printed by Edgar Degas
13.3 x 20.1 cm irregular; plate: 10.4 x 18 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 17292)
Pissarro has drawn upon a variety of printmaking techniques to create atmosphere, including the use of coarse grains of aquatint for texture and tonal variation. Etching and drypoint help to define the landscape features. This is a proof of the third and final state, inscribed as printed by Edgar Degas, who collaborated closely with Pissarro on printmaking at this time and encouraged technical experimentation and use of different colour inks. Colour variations include this impression in red-brown ink, another in English green (accession no. 18724, also presented here), vermilion, ultramarine and Van Dyck brown. As a colour series, they have been compared to the later grain stacks of Claude Monet, but it is uncertain whether the different colours were intended to suggest changes in light or simply to broaden the range of decorative possibilities of printmaking (note that the distinctive, long shadows remain unchanged in each print).