GASTON NICK – A girl alone, 1927
Sheet size: 200x145 mm
Image size: 135x90 mm
Edition: 497 – Unsigned
Original etching by Gaston Nick for the semi-autobiographical novel Jours de famine et de détresse by Néel Doff (Cornelia Hubertia Doff, 1858-1942). This early example of the 'misery memoir' described the author's impoverished childhood in the Netherlands and Belgium. The central character Keetje is eventually forced into prostitution to feed her brothers and sisters, a route paralleled by Néel Doff herself, who became a model for Belgian artists such as James Ensor, Félicien Rops, and Paul de Vigne. Doff's heartrending text brought out the best in Gaston Nick. His etchings were made for the edition brought out in 1927 by Éditions Mornay, of which there were a total of 497 copies, of which ours is no. 168. Most of these copies were printed on Rives, with 42 on Japan (2 of which had a second state of the etchings), but the distinction is probably meaningless in terms of the etchings themselves, which were printed quite separately on laid paper, by l'Imprimerie Aulard. Condition: Excellent.