Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Printmaking in the age of Romanticism

This is the title of a great exhibition where you have to run visiting it before the end on the 25th of October 2009! Where: Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery RD, The Domain, Sydney 2000, Australia.

What is the Romanticism?It is a movement of the 19th century who rose up as a revolt against the 18th-century Age of Reason. Unfolding against the political and social turmoil of European history in the wake of the French Revolutionaryand Napoleonic Wars, it emerged as a dominant force in the development of music, literature and painting. Many artists worked primarly as printmakers (and not painters), and besides these there were also armies of higly skilled reporductive engravers whose work contibuted much to the extraordinary richness of printmaking in the Romantic Ange.

Lithograph representing a portrait of Eugène Delacroix, major painter of Romanticism, c1840.

The earliest significant use of the term 'Romantic' was by the German critic Fridriech Schlegel, who, in 1798, applied it to contemporary poetry. The choice of the word itself stemmed from Schlegel's appreciation of the medieval literary genre of the romance - tales of courtly love adn fabulous event- which appealed to the imagination and represented the antithesis of the classical tradition. But Romantism is not really a coherent style, like neoclassicism, nor is it a consistent doctrine.

Copper-engraved print representing Honoré Daumier, great painter and drawner for satire, c1850.

The Romantics believe in the primacy of imagination over reason and the freedom of the artist to express personal, as opposed to shared, experience. Art, they were convinced, should be a private quest for authentic emotion rather than the pursuit of a universal, timeless ideal of beatuy- that it should be charged with the artist's own anxieties and aspirations, dreams and desires, and awaken those emotions on us.

Portrait of William Turner, major romantic painter, c1830. (right side)

Monday, 28 September 2009

Prints: what a gold mine!

The prints are a mine rich in valuable lessons, a source of enjoyment that never runs dry. For a lover of pictures what a what a precious document in prints, as objects of comparison and study! The most honest representation of the work painted by an artist is certainly his engraved work as a mirror in which he reflected his image, which has preserved to us.
It's in the prints that artists derive their source, should look for models or guides. Using prints, there are events whose ephemeral writers do not feel obliged to keep the memory, features unknown or known to a small number of views of monuments that no longer exist, caricature destroyed or become very rare, scenes impossible to describe manners (EX: Gavarni).
The usefulness of prints is an incontestable fact.
Claude Maugis, abbot of St. Ambrose, in the reign of Henry III, circa 1576, who imagined to form collections of engravings, created the first print's cabinet. He spent forty years to form his collection.
Timor, Canda, Jeune fille malaise. Hand-coloured print c1810, representents the portrait of a young Woman from Malaysia. Superb realisation printed for "Voyage de découvertes aux terres australes", by François Péron in 1807.

At his death, M. de Marolles, Abbe de Villeloin, bought for 1,000 pounds, all that was most remarkable to increase his own print room.
In 1667, Colbert had to buy the library of M. de Marolles for the royal library, 440 volumes with about 120 000 prints!

Superb copper-plate engraved print c1809, represents the battle of Cadix, in september 1809, by the french. This print belongs to the amazing collection of Versailles'Gallery published by Gavard in 1830's.

A well-organized print's room should have prints about history, costums, geography, architectures, monuments, portraits, natural history and academic arts.

Rare copper-plate engraved print, c1845, represents some antiques items from Greece. Prints are also very important for the archeologic work.

Lithograph from a Gallery of Portrait, c1805, representants the portrait of Bayard, one of the most famous knight in France.

Superb copper-plate engraved print on laid paper, c1770, who represents the Antibes's harbour on the French Riviera. Painted by N. Ozanne. This beautiful comes from the "Collection of french harbours for the king".

You can come to visit my e-store where I sell some original antique maps and prints: http://stores.ebay.com.au/moncabinetdestampes

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Encyclopaedia of Religious Rites and Ceremonies of All Nations, a fabulous work in the early 18th century

Bernard Picart is a french engraver and drawner born in Paris in 1673 and dead in Amsterdam in 1733.

His most famous work is Encyclopaedia of Religious Rites and Ceremonies of All Nations (in french: Traité des cérémonies religieuses et coutumes de toutes les nations). It is actually a compilation of edited texts by a number of French authors concerned with religious practices in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the East Indies. Within the stated topic of religious ceremonies and customs, a variety of social habits and interactions are described, many accompanied by marvellous, if often imaginative, engravings. Some of the illustrations are rather fanciful, placing Indians in settings that suggest ancient Roman architecture and statuary or traditional European carpentry, furniture, and decorative wooden floors. Bernard's collection treats such individual topics as combat, sacrifices, religion, funeral customs, romance, and marriage, drawing from disparate sources for their interest value.

Original print on laid paper from 1723 drawn and engraved by Bernard Picart. Intaglio engraving ("au burin") of Portuguese Jews at Easter meal.

We can note the interest of this print not only with the custom of the Portuguese Jews but also the decoration and costums of these people in the early of 18th century.

Original print on laid paper from 1730 drawn and engraved by Bernard Picart. Intaglio engraving ("au burin") of The distribution of the sacred flame to the Greeks by the Patriarch.
Symbol of the resurrection of Christ, "the sacred flame" was lit in the Holy Sepulcher in the Old City of Jérusalem. That is where the tradition is the last episodes of the Passion of Christ, his crucifixion, his tomb and his miraculous return to life. Greeks still celebrate every year this custom in Jerusalem.

Original print on laid paper from 1732 drawn and engraved by Bernard Picart. Intaglio engraving ("au burin") of The dance of the Whirling Dervishes.
The Whirling Dervishes belong to the Mevlevi order who is a Sufi muslim order founded in Konya in the thirteenth century by Jalal al-Din Rumi. We called them whirling dervisches in reference to their dance called sama '(or planted), whose movements are reminiscent of a top.

Original print on laid paper from 1726 drawn and engraved by Bernard Picart. Intaglio engraving ("au burin") of The wedding ceremony in Java: the man brings at home the Bridal.
In this print, we can see the fantasy and the imagination of Bernard Picart!
You can come to visit my e-store where I sell some original antique maps and prints: http://stores.ebay.com.au/moncabinetdestampes

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

L'Artiste: a spectacular print's collection from the best drawners and engravers...

I choose today to present you a lithograph from the journal of litterature and fine arts "L'artiste".

L'artiste was published from 1831 to 1904, an assemblied all kind of articles about litterature, fine arts, architecture of this period. Each number of the journal was illustrated with one or two lithographs or prints from the best artists of this period. Great writers as Chateaubriand participated with poems, texts, stories...

This lithograph, shows us the pumbs on Notre Dame Bridge, in Paris.

Pumb on Notre Dame Bridge, in Paris
Lithograph signed by Victor LEFRANC (1812-?), c1836.

Paris has always lacked water in the past. In 1670, Daniel Jolly, director of the Samaritan pump, proposed to the municipal body established near the Pont Notre-Dame, a device similar to the one whose administration was entrusted to him, offering to raise at a price 20,000 pounds, 30 to 40 inches of water from the Seine at 80 feet above the level of this river. About 400 liters per minute. His proposal was accepted by order of April 26, 1671.
A similar project was submitted at the same time the board by Jacques Demance proposing for a sum of 40,000 francs to raise 55 inches of water using a new hydraulic machine. His offers were received with equal favor.
The two engineers set to work simultaneously. The result of their work was to deliver consumer Paris an additional volume of 80 inches of water. The pumps, placed on a scaffold were confined in a house whose door, designed by Pierre Bullet, especially attracted the attention of artists and scholars. This is decorated with two bas-reliefs, a masterpiece of Jean Goujon, and debris of a building earlier was beneath a medallion of Louis XV an inscription in Latin verse of the famous Santeuil. It was translated into French by P. Corneille.
These pumps repaired at various times including in 1678, 1708 and 1795. The first pump stopped working in 1786. The second, adopted in 1858 was demolished in 1861.

You can come to visit my e-store where I sell some original antique maps and prints: http://stores.ebay.com.au/moncabinetdestampes

Monday, 7 September 2009

Perspective views or Vue d'optique, extravagance at the end of 18th century!

Perspective views, or vue d’optiques, are a special type of popular print published in Europe during the eighteenth century.
These prints were a form of entertainment meant to be seen through devices called “optical machines,” “optiques,” "zograscopes" or “peepshows.” With their precisely-ground lens, well-crafted fittings, and internationally-themed prints, these opitical machines embodied the Georgian quest for knowledge and refinement.
Probably invented around 1750, it was known in England as an “optical diagonal machine” and in France as an “optique.” With few variations, a zograscope consists of a mirror zograscope consists of a mirror hinged with an optical lens, suspended in a frame that stands approximately eighteen inches high.
Perspective views have several commun point: generarally these were etched copper engravings, classified as "half-fine", the midde between fine engravings and naive popular prints. All the subject were horizontal, very hand coloured with some deep green, carmine and yellow: the sky was most of the time a blue horizontal band at the top of the print.
Perspective view, copper-plate engraved print, hand-coloured, c1790. Tuileries Palace in Paris (doesn't exist anymore)
In this print, we can see the life along the Seine River in Paris, the costums of parisians, and in particulary, the Tuileries Palace (Château des Tuileries).

The Tuileries Palace was a palace in Paris, whose construction began in 1564 under the leadership of Catherine de Medici to the site previously occupied by tile factories. Expanded under the successive reigns, he had a huge front (266 m long) and became a royal residence of many kings, Henri IV, Louis XIV, Louis XVI or Louis XVIII, then Imperial (Napoleon I and Napoleon III) until 'to its destruction by fire in May 1871. Its ruins were demolished in 1882.

You can come to visit my e-store where I sell some original antique maps and prints: http://stores.ebay.com.au/moncabinetdestampes