In the years between 1890 and 1905, Paris witnessed a revolution in printmaking. Before this time, prints had primarily served reproductive or political ends, but, as the century came to a close, artistic quality became paramount, and printmaking blossomed into an autonomous art form. This gorgeously illustrated and accessibly written book looks at the circumstances in which this terrific new enthusiasm for prints unfolded; the principal players in its development; and the various printmaking techniques being used.
Most modern French artists experimented with lithographs, etchings, or woodcuts, many of which were published in small editions intended for art connoisseurs and collectors. Their popularity, however, was not confined to these exclusive groups. Colorful prints designed by Pierre Bonnard, Paul Gauguin, Henri-Gabriel Ibels, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Edouard Vuillard, among others, were seen and admired all over Paris in the form of illustrated theater programs, sheet music, magazines, books, and street posters.
Featuring highlights from the Van Gogh Museum, which houses a superb collection of prints from fin-de-siècle Paris, this enlightening volume shows how the most influential artists of the day turned their hands to making beautiful impressions”prints that were works of art in themselves.