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La Cubitière

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    2002 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Arnold, Raymond, born 1950 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Soft-ground etching on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased through the Julie and Robert Breckman Print Fund

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case LP, shelf 8

In 2002 Australian artist Raymond Arnold made a suite of eight etchings in response to a painting he saw in the Louvre of Henri IV of France in full armour. The series was also inspired by a trip to First World War graves in France, where his grandfather and many other young Australian men died in action.

In each print Arnold depicts one of the component parts from a suit of armour against a ground of synthetic lace. The armour is overlaid with a traditional Provencal textile design that goes back centuries but is still found on today’s French market stalls. The sense of both strength and vulnerability evoked by the armour plays against the associations of the lace and the traditional pattern: delicacy but ‘cheapness’, implicit expendability and working-class origins. The images bring together a variety of themes including war, violence, the fragility of the male body, the use of young working-class men as gun fodder in the war, and collective memory.

Physical description

Etching in black and translucent yellow with image of the cubitière or arm covering from a suit of armour, patterned with oval, star-like shapes, seen against a ground of lace- the pattern of the latter created through soft ground printing from a piece of machine-made synthetic lace of the type used to make domestic lace curtains. The print has the same width as the paper but there are margins at top and bottom.

Place of Origin

France (made)


2002 (made)


Arnold, Raymond, born 1950 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Soft-ground etching on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Raymond A [The A circled ] 2002 / Henri IV - La Cubitière / 5/15
Signature; date; title; edition number


Height: 69.5 cm plate, Width: 63 cm plate, Height: 92 cm sheet, Width: 63 cm sheet

Descriptive line

Soft ground etching 'Henri IV- la Cubitière' by Raymond Arnold, France, 2002.


Printing ink; Paper


Etching; Soft ground etching

Subjects depicted

Lace: synthetic; Lace; Masculinity; Domesticity; Male fragility; Armour


Arms & Armour; Death; Household objects; Lace; Prints

Production Type

Limited edition


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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