In 1862, a group of French artists that included Edouard Manet and Henri Fantin-Latour formed the Société des Aquafortistes to promote etching as an independent (rather than reproductive) medium. Its influence was profound, and its ranks soon embraced most of the major Realist and Impressionist artists, including Bracquemond, whose Terrace at the Villa Brancas is arguably his best-known and most purely Impressionist work. It exists in eight states, each carefully worked to refine and strengthen the effects of light and shade. This sheet is printed from an early state, with the tones still very light and airy, and some areas barely sketched in. Its very subject is art-making: Bracquemond’s wife Marie, herself an artist, draws a model posed in full sunlight, her head shaded by a parasol that dapples shadows across her dress, with a sweeping vista of the French countryside stretching beyond.