In the 1950s, when Bourgeois was living with her husband and children in an apartment on 18th Street in New York City, the family had two cats: Champfleurette and Tyger.
According to Marie-Laure Bernadac, "The name of the cat is a feminisation of the French writer and art critic Jules Champfleury (1821-89)." (Quote cited in Morris, Frances and Marie-Laure Bernadac. "Louise Bourgeois." London: Tate Modern, 2007, p. 40.)
Champfleury authored "Les Chats," a book of essays on cats with illustrations by multiple artists, including Manet and Delacroix. (Champfleury, Jules and J. Rothschild, editor. "Les Chats." Paris: Librairie de la Société botanique de France, 1870.)
In 1993, at the initiation of the printers at Harlan & Weaver, New York, Bourgeois rendered version 1 in lift ground aquatint based on the 1983 source drawing. The artist eventually abandoned the aquatint plate and began developing a second version in the drypoint technique. Bourgeois continued to work on version 2 into 1994, when she created an additional source drawing, a photocopy study, and a tracing study, to aid in further development of the composition. This tracing study shows Bourgeois considering placing a figure in the window at the right of the later states of version 2. The final state of version 2, in drypoint, etching, and aquatint, was published by Peter Blum Edition in 1994.
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