However recognition will come through etching. Confronted with the hardships so common to poor artists, and he first did a lot of hack work.
Between about 1895 and 1914, he produced numerous colour etchings in large formats. They were mainly reproductions after old masters like Rembrandt, Velasquez, Watteau and Chardin, or modern masters like Turner, Millet, Corot and Whistler(i). He also produced reproductions after such fashionable contemporary painters as Edouard Armand-Dumaresq, Fritz Thaulow, Louis Cambier, Raymond Woog and Abel-Truchet, whose fame more or less successfully withstood the test of time. Finally he also gave a number of landscapes and sought-after views such as Venise, Heidelberg castle or mont Saint-Michel.
Such work did bring some money but little fame(ii), although they were commissioned by well-known dealers of the time, and especially by Georges Petit in Paris and Diétrich et Cie in Brussels. They were also printed in the workshop of the famous printer Eugène Delâtre.
- Gustave Geffroy, Introduction aux cinq Paysages de Paris, Pierrefort, 1902.
- Brouet also produced around ten large original colour etchings, with the themes his name
is now best known for : peddlers, rag pickers and other suburban scenes.