Réincarnations du Père Ubu. 1918-19. Etching, sugar-lift aquatint, roulette and woodcut. Chapon-Rouault 8-30. Sheet size: 17 x 12 3/4. Complete set of twenty-two etchings and aquatints, hors-texte, and 104 wood engravings en-texte by Georges Aubert after drawings by Rouault. Example number 179 from the edition of 200 on papier à
la marque de la Manufacture Royale de Vidalon avec la suite sur Arches et Rives (total edition 305). Initialed and dated in the plate or the block. $7,500 for the complete set.
Rouault began the series in 1913 and completed the illustrations in 1928. The Ubu series marks Rouault's first use of photogravure to secure a basic image on the plate. An 8-page prospectus with 5 wood engravings by Aubert was issued by Vollard. The work was designed to mirror the artist's religious convictions and questionings and was to be a vast operation of over 100 prints. As the series progressed, an oeuvre of 100 proved too ambitious; so the series was curtailed. Ambroise Vollard was obsessed with his invented character - Père Ubu - for more than 3 decades. He began with Le Grand Almanach du Père Ubu, 1900 - 1901, illustrated by Pierre Bonnard and ended with Rouault's Réincarnations du Pere Ubu in 1932, with etchings by Rouault. Vollard wrote or published more than 10 works on the subject. Père Ubu was based on the play, Ubu Roi, by Alfred Jarry, which premiered in 1896. It is one of the precursors to the Theatre of the Absurd and the greater surrealist art movement of the early twentieth century. It is the first of three stylized burlesques in which Jarry satirizes power, greed, and their evil practices, in particular the propensity of the complacent bourgeois to abuse the authority engendered by success.
Additional works by Georges Rouault are available on the Allinson Gallery, Inc. website