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A little pig by Constant

New at Olla Art is a drypoint etching by Constant from 1971, entitled ‘Varkentje’ (little pig). 

The etching has a special provenance. It comes from the estate of the Dutch writer Remco Campert and his wife Deborah Wolf. They bought it in 1976 from the Collection d’art gallery in Amsterdam. The original purchase invoice is still present.

Children’s song
Unique to the copy we offer is the handwritten rhyme at the bottom of the etching, probably in Constant’s hand: ‘Un petit cochon / paisiblement assis / incapable de faire / des cochonneries,’ which we translate as: ‘A little pig / sitting on his bottom / unable to do / something rotten.’
As far as we know, this is not a well-known rhyme, but a variation on the text of an existing French children’s song: ‘Un petit cochon, pendu au ceiling / Tirez-lui le nez, il donnera du lait / Tirez-lui la queue, il pondra des oeufs!’ Translated by us, as follows: ‘A little pig, hanging from the ceiling / If you pull his nose, he will give milk / If you pull his tail, he will lay eggs!’
An more mischievous text variant of the same song circulates, which reads: ‘Un petit cochon, pendu au ceiling / Tirez-lui la queue, il pondra des oeufs! / Tirez-la encore, il pétera très fort!’ Translated by us as: ‘A little pig, hanging from the ceiling / If you pull his tail, he lays eggs! / If you pull again, he’ll let out a big fart!’

Constant, Varkentje, 1971 (framed)

Constant, Varkentje, 1971
Etching, 56.5 x 38.5 (sheet), 17.5 x 24.5 (image)

Edition size
The total edition of the etching was small: 20 copies. It is not included in the book about Constant’s graphics by Philippe Dagen and Trudy van der Horst, but is catalogued on the website of the Constant Foundation as no. CID 184.

Information
‘Varkentje’ is framed in the original frame, and shows the entire sheet. The etching is in good condition. The price is 685 euros. More information: info@olla-art.com.
More work by Constant, as well as a short biography, can be found here.