Biography: Auguste Brouet, one of the finest original etchers of early 20th-century French art, was born in Paris (Montmartre) in 1872. He created over 300 drypoints and etchings during his career. Brouet was first apprenticed to a lithographer and then a lute maker, taking classes at the École des Beaux-Arts as time and money became more readily available to him. Fellow printer, Auguste Delâtre introduced Brouet to etching and his first original etching dates from just after 1900. Many of Brouet’s works deal with the poor and working classes of Paris and the surrounding countryside.
Writing in The International Studio (1920), Marcel Valotaire described the career of this little known artist: “At the age of sixteen he made his first attempt at etching, using as his sole implement a nail, and as his plate a scrap of zinc gutter-pipe with a ground— if one may so call it—of floor polish. The proof obtained from a single biting of this little plate, Les petits Joueurs de Dis, is quite remarkable, and arrests attention because it immediately reminds one of Rembrandt, although at that time the youthful debutant was completely unaware of the great Dutch master’s existence as an etcher, and certainly had never seen one of his etchings. Thus from this early beginning as an aquafortist, Brouet has remained himself, and his manner and style are borrowed from no one, but are peculiarly his own.”
See catalogue raisonné by Gustave Geffroy.