Marcelle Hanselaar


I love the violence of the scored etched line and the many layered dramatic possibilities of aquatint. That suits my subject matter: animal instincts and the female psyche. I like to show the rebellious, erotic, deviant, funny and cruel and secret side of people. It is my personal way of telling tales, to share a passion for expressing the savage, erotic or subconscious aspects of life and it is said reminiscent of German Expressionism in their power to disturb.

I discovered etching only a few years ago. Because I am an oil painter I think in layers and tend to build up a tonal quality of line and aquatint by repeatingly adding new grounds. Etching is a medium of darkness and because the dark makes me more courageous and less self conscious I often draw late at night. Somehow the combination of drawing with a sharp etching needle on a hard ground animates my descend into the rabbit hole, a place where a fierce nameless longing bares its teeth.

Sleep well my pretty is my version of Rembrandts wonderful Nymph & Satyr etching, with a bit of Fusili’s painting The Nightmare thrown in. In my version the reclining person is aware of the intruder, the mood is the joy of forbidden pleasures spiced with a half awareness of playing with fire. Both the domesticated monkey in Sleep well my pretty 1 and the duenna in Sleep well my pretty 2 are references to 17Th C. Dutch genre paintings. In Sleep well my pretty 3 the scene is turned around, here a man is watched and intruded upon. A little dog licks his hand comfortingly while on the left a witchwoman stands with rats hanging from her breasts like ancient nipple rings and on the right a peeping Tom is surveying the scene.

My series La petite mort (19 etchings in total) are born out of longing for that which we cannot get, that repeatedly dying of small deaths of being aware of an absence from our lives. I drew, directly on to the plate, a series of images in a mode of tableaux vivantes. They depict the curious and hidden habits that might be indulged in behind closed doors and drawn curtains.

Notes about Lot and his daughters 1 & 2 and Jael & Sisera 1 & 2 ‘Sometime ago I saw Rembrandt’s wonderful pen & ink drawing of Jael lustily hammering a tent peg through Sisera’s temple. Typically for Rembrandt, the focus was on Jael’s very feminine way of concentrating not on the murder at hand but on hitting that nail on the head. The legendary tales of the Old Testament are full of retributions and tribulations, murder and sexual mayhem enacted in the shadow of the Law, the liberating quality of these stories manifest itself the moment we realise how they in actual fact mirror our subconsious world. I like portraying these heroines as ordinary women whose conspirational a girl has to do what a girl has to do look, places the scene resolutely in the present. Props like stripey beach screens and Calvin Klein briefs, mixed with objects as found in genre painting, give the image an eclectic source reference.’


Born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

1962-64 Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague, NL

2001 B-Tech Printmaking, Chelsea & Kensington College, London

Member of the Royal Society Painters/Printmakers, RE and The London Group


2008 Residency Frans Masereel Center, Belgium

2006 Aberystwyth, University of Wales Purchase Prize, Originals ’06, London

2003 Presse Papier Award, Biennale Internationale d’estampe Contemporaine de Trois-Rivieres, Quebec

Public collections

British Museum Prints & Drawings Collection, London; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; Sakimi Art Museum, Okinawa, Japan; Museum of Contemporary Engraving, Alijo, Portugal; University of Wales Print Collection, Aberystwyth; Frans Masereel Center, Belgium; New Hall, Cambridge; Clare Hall, Cambridge; Rabo Bank, London; Merrill Lynch, London; Amsterdam Medical Center, NL; Amsterdam Arts Council, NL; Risk Publications, London; Mitsukoshi Ltd., London



  • Solo show: Back to basics, SNAP Gallery, Edmonton, Canada
  • X Bienal Internacional de Grabado, Ourense, Spain
  • Bienniale Internationale d’estampe contemporarine de Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
  • Black on White, Artefact Gallery, London
  • Metamorphoses, 4th Bienale Gravure de St.Maur
  • RWA Open Print, Bristol, XIVme Biennale Int. de Gravure de Sarcelles, Sarcelles, France
  • 2nd Qijiang Int. Print Exhibition, Chongqing, China
  • RA Summer show, London
  • 3 Invalshoeken, De Queeste Art, Watou, Belgium
  • London Group Open, Menier Gallery, London


  • Solo show: The Weight of Smoke, East West Gallery, London
  • Solo show: Down the Rabbithole, Aberysthwyth
  • Mini Picture Show, Bankside Gallery, London
  • Intaglio, St. David’s Hall, Cardiff
  • Originals 08, Mall Galleries, London
  • Cont. European & African Prints, RaMoMa, Nairobi
  • Artichoke Printmakers, Clifford Chance, London
  • with the RE, Original Print Fair, London
  • Galerie Churchill, Wégimont Culture, Soumangne, Be.
  • Discerning Eye (invited artist), Mall Galleries, London
  • Will it snow for Christmas, WALL, London


  • Solo show: The Weight of Smoke, De Queeste Art, Watou
  • Solo show: The Weight of Smoke, Galerie de Buytensael, Arnhem
  • Originals 07, Mall Galleries, London
  • Lithography & Woodcuts, Walk Gallery, London
  • Bienniale Internationale de Gravure 07, Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, Liege, Belgium
  • London Group at Deutsche Bank, London
  • Bienale Internacional de Gravura de Douro, Portugal
  • Eyeplay, Bankside Gallery, London
  • Things which go bump in the night, 20/21 Visual Art Centre, Scunthorpe, Lincs
  • R.A. Summershow, London


  • Solo show: La Petite Mort, Stephanie Burns Fine Art, Canberra
  • Solo show: Intimate Conversations, Artonomy Fine Art, Truro
  • Artists & Prints, Artonomy Fine Art, Truro
  • Originals 06, Mall Galleries London
  • Le Reveil Figurativ, La Renaissance Mairie, Hondschooten (Fr) and Beauvoorde, (Be)
  • Discerning Eye, invited artist, Mall Galleries London
  • MAAPS Printmaking Biennial, Heritage Museum, Halifax, Canada, touring 2006-07: Winnipeg, Toronto, Vancouver, Kyoto and Beijing
  • R.A. Summershow, London


  • Solo show: La Petite Mort, etchings East West Gallery, London
  • Solo show: La Petite Mort, De Queeste Art, Belgium
  • Uncanny Tales touring with Paula Rego, Ana Maria Pacheco, Oona Grimes 2005-2007 : Scarborough Gallery, Scarborough; Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea; Wrexham Art Gallery, Cultural Centre Ypres, Belgium; De Queeste Art, Watou; Jersey Arts Centre, St. Helier; Great Sutton Street, London; Black Swan Arts, Frome, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull; Rugby Art Gallery; Babylon Art Gallery, Ely; Print International, Memorial Gallery, Yale college, Wrexham; touring The Haven Gallery, Boston; Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury;
  • Biennale Int. de Gravure, Cabinet des Estampes de la Ville de Liege, Belgium
  • Biennale Int. d’ estampe Cont. de Trois-Rivieres, Canada
  • Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London
  • 200 years European Art, Stephanie Burns Fine Art, Canberra
  • R.A. Summershow, London


  • Solo show: Silence is easy, De Queeste Art, Be
  • Solo show: Shouts & whispers, Stephanie Burns Fine Art, Canberra, Aus
  • Originals 04,, Mall Galleries, London
  • RE Annual, Bankside Gallery, London
  • Christmas show, East West Gallery, London
  • R.A. Summershow, London


  • Solo show: You said you loved me, RM art, Essen, Germany
  • Solo show: Sometimes I dream about reality, East West Gallery, London
  • Contemporary British Art, The Millinery Works, London
  • National Print Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
  • Biennale Internationale d’estampe Contemporaine de Trois-Rivieres
  • Showcase, East West Gallery, London
  • Wrexham Print Internationa, touring
  • R.A. Summershow, London


  • Young Masters Prints, Atlanta, USA
  • Grafiek Nu 10, Singer Museum, Laren, NL
  • R.A. Summershow, London


  • Solo show: All of Me, East West Gallery, London
  • Solo show: Incomplete Tales, Erasmus Galerie, Rotterdam, NL


  • Close to the bone, New Hall, Cambridge
  • Solo show: Burying the Hatchet, The Millinery Works, London