Tuesday, November 3, 2015

French Antique Print for my Living Room

"Although beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, the feeling of being beautiful exists solely in the mind of the beheld." Martha Beck


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When we were in Wisconsin last month, I found this OLD gorgeous colored etching/aquatint probably circa 1910-25. It's hand numbered and signed by an Henri....somebody---I can't read the last name.
Which is a shame because this is a stunning piece and I would love to find out who the artist was. It wasn't very much money...but, I absolutely loved it.

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Having taken Printmaking I, II in college, I can appreciate the techniques involved. Aquatint which has been in use since the 1600's as a method of creating tonal colors through a series of acid etchings on a plate(s) through multiple techniques and formulas. The goal is to make colored multiple-identical prints. A similar print on Worthpoint is said to be a Antique French Lithograph, also with an illegible signature, I don't agree as that is an entirely different medium and would not leave a plate mark which this print clearly has on the edges.

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If I am guessing right, this is a print made from 4-5 plates. Gray-green, rust, brown/tan, dark-green and the etching itself, perhaps in a black-brown are the colors used. Each color had it's own plate. The depths of color depend on how long the plate was left in an acid bath with a particular treatment on the plate. A plate would be removed and reworked multiple times, resulting in multiple shades of the same color when printed. It's tricky to say the least. One has to be able to envision one's work and desired result in layers. Once a plate is etched it can be softened but not totally erased. (I thought of this as art by suicide...when working on plates in my classes. I'm not a meticulous human being, so this was simply not my media.)

Henri's result was a full-fledged Fall landscape of murky waters and misty backgrounds with a cottage/mill detailed and yet in shadows...truly this printmaker was skilled at his craft.

Here is the reflection in the murky waters, just a hint of the house.

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The print itself, is a large piece @20"x24" and is quietly matted in multiple mattes with gold imprinted edgings, and the frame is softly gilded. I am waiting for a framing sale to REDO replace the glass with glare-proof, for anywhere I place this picture, I get fierce reflections from our windows, or worse the television.

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Anyone recognizing this signature please contact me or having any information on this print, I try to be accurate on posts, but this post is guess-work. The dealer I bought this from, agreed on my guess, and she confessed she had searched futilely herself.

Perhaps I will find out more, when the framer takes apart my print, and realigns the original mattes.
Perhaps the artist will reveal himself. I have searched all the French lists of artists and printmakers. Another Henri (Jourdain) made prints in the 20-30's similar, but the signature does not match at all.


After WWI, many returning veterans built French and English cottages, chateaus and homes in America. Entire sub-divisions were dedicated to these styles of Tudor Revival, English Stone Cottages, and French Revival.  It is understandable that prints of the beautiful French countryside would be chosen for artwork in such homes.

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On a side note, an American gallery owner, Sidney Z. Lucas contracted French artists to produce landscapes under the label, “Paris Etching Society.” His prints can also be identified by a distinctive circular or triangular symbol with the initials “SZL.” These were very popular in the 1930's and later. This is not one of his artist's prints.
For more information on Lucas see: http://antiqueprintsblog.blogspot.com


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It doesn't matter, I will never sell it, as I'm totally in love with the elusive Henri's whoever he may be, his river, trees, and the cottage mill, (I really want to live there).

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own or I am in possesion of the originals, 
I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or products used. 
Please do not use my photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. 
Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle


Thanks for stopping by and visiting, sharing at these fine parties: 
Sandi


 


19 comments:

  1. Oh Sandi! How pretty and serene. I love it. It will make a beautiful statement in your home! Have a great week, Lynn

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  2. Sandi, that print is gorgeous! It has so many colors and it is just wonderful.

    Dianne

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  3. Lovely artwork and very interesting post. I have some similar work and know nothing about them other than I loved them. Mine are much simpler than yours, and in not perfect shape. Thanks for the information. Cheers!
    Susan, eclecticshorebird@blogspot.com

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  4. What a lovely piece! I found your research very interesting and how beautifully a piece can turn out by using the different plates. I hope you find out Henri's last name. In the meantime, you have a wonderful piece of French art for your home. Thank you for sharing with us.

    Autumn blessings,
    Sandi

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  5. Its amazing that such an organic looking picture can be made with a printing process.

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  6. What a beautiful piece of artwork!! I hope you're able to find out more about it. Thanks for sharing at Vintage Inspiration Party.

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  7. Sandi,
    I agree, this work of art from Henri is mesmerizing!!!
    Great find, dear one!!!
    Thanks for sharing!!!
    Fondly,
    Pat

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    1. I did find another companion print on Worthpoint--but they listed it as a litho..which is not correct--and the name as Souras...which is probably wrong. I will keep looking!

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  8. Sandi, it really is a gorgeous print! I could settle in there nicely as well. lol! You really know a lot about art and I found it to be very interesting. Hope you figure out just exactly what Henri it is. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Thanks Jann, I don't know that much, but having an art major background does help on somethings. Thanks for hosting! Sandi

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  9. this is such a lovely print, and you have a wonderful background in the art and process of printmaking. Hang onto it, I'm sure you'll find out about it eventually.

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    1. Thanks Debra for stopping by and commenting, have a great weekend, Sandi

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  10. This print is stunning and I can see why you love it. Thanks for sharing so much info about this print technique.
    hugs,
    Linda

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    1. Glad you enjoyed and thanks for stopping by, Linda. Have a great weekend, Sandi

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  11. A beautiful print, Sandi; and I'm very impressed with all the research that went with it.

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    1. Thanks for visiting and I'm glad you enjoyed it, have a great weekend, Sandi

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  12. This is incredible Sandi, What a beautiful print and how special it will be in your home. A great treasure. The artist did an amazing job. Thanks for sharing.
    xo

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    1. Thanks for enjoying the print, sometimes we scoff at prints when we don't realize the work that goes into some of them. Have a wonderful weekend, Celestina, Smiles, Sandi

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  13. What a stunning piece, Sandi! I love the scene and the colors are stunning. Thanks so much for all the background on printing in color--very helpful info that I'm sure our Vintage Charm followers will appreciate :)

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Thank you for any and all comments. I will reply to any questions!
And great to meet you, Sandi