"Once paper, pen-and-ink-well have been brought to the table, Victor Hugo sits down and without making a preliminary sketch, without any apparent preconception, sets about drawing with an extraordinarily sure hand not the landscape as a whole but any old detail. He will begin his forest with the branch of a tree, his town with a gable, his gable with a weathervane, and little by little, the entire composition will emerge from the blank paper with the precision and clarity of a photographic negative subjected to the chemical preparation that brings out the picture. That done, the draftsman will ask for a cup and will finish off his landscape with a light shower of black coffee. The result is a unexpected and powerful drawing that is often strange, always personal, and recalls the etchings of Rembrandt and Piranesi." ---Charles Hugo
Ruined Aqueduct  ca. 1850
Pen, brown-ink wash, black ink, graphite, black crayon, fingerprints and reserves (stencilling) on beige, gilt-edged vellum paper, partly rubbed (taches on verso) 9x12 in.

SHADOWS OF A HAND
The Drawings of Victor Hugo

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