William Merritt Chase "Keying Up - The Court Jester" original etching
Medium: original etching. Executed in 1879, this is a rich, dark impression on chine-collé paper, apart from the standard edition on laid paper. The etched image measures 5 3/4 x 3 1/2 inches; the plate measures 6 5/8 x 4 1/2 inches (our photo does not show the platemark).
Condition: minor foxing to the margins. Signed in the plate, not hand-signed.
The artist executed an earlier painting of the same composition; the painting is lighter and more whimsical, with the jester wearing a red suit and an impish grin as he pours himself a drink before performing ("keying up"). The etching is done in the reverse direction and has a darker, moodier quality. The Court Jester is considered to be William Merritt Chase's most important etching.