Thursday, 24 January 2013

Joseph Chamberlain - Printmaker

Not, Joseph Chamberlain (1836-1914) the father of "Peace in our time" Neville Chamberlain (1869-1940) but obscure minor artist printmaker working in the 1920's and 30's.

... and here is a example of one his "multiples" - Yes, multiple, a new term to you, but for reason I will explain later, a good description.

This "moonlit meeting" is very atmospheric, the silhouette foreground with the moonlight beyond just adds to the intrigue - lover meeting whilst walking the dog.

Information on the artist is scarce, we know from entries in art indexes that he was born in Lambourne, Wiltshire and studied art at Heatherley's Art School from c1925. But no life dates or family history.

He is recorded as living in London c1925 and subsequently in Marlborough, Wiltshire from 1926. He is recorded at exhibiting regularly in the 1920’s, including once at the Royal Academy and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters.

When researched this artist a few years ago, before my blogging started, I did find a few more references to him and his work. At the time I found the he was predominately a landscape painter and mezzotint artist and the only listed sale at auction was a mezzotint titled "Portrait of Mrs Francis Bernoch of the Blackheath" (unsold). This was probably a copy of oil painting.

The same design with a different colour/background combination

More of interest to me is that he also created many multiples using the pochoir technique on satin material. Similar in style and technique to Thomas Todd Blaylock (1876-1929) as you can see from the picture on the right. All these pictures are created by hand painting the colour through a series of stencils on to, with these artists, fabric to build up a woodblock looking picture - not a real printing method, but a series of multiple images.

Blaylock's pictures are quite sophisticated,  using several stencils to build up the shadows and depth. Whilst Chamberlain appears to us a single template, hand painting the varying tones needed. This technique allowed the artist to vary the colours and fabric to make unique images from a single template.

This technique was also used by Hugh Wallis (1871-1944) with his "paper cuts" - see my earlier post for examples, although he painted them on to various type of papers often try to imitate marquetry.

This picture was always my favourite, the most interesting image, lot more atomspheric than the quite soul less floral still life compositions which try to emulate those of John Hall Thorpe (1874-1947) or Blaylock. They are just a little too flat ! - charmingly naive and they did look good all framed up.

I particularly like the way he has used the black unpainted  satin as the shadows of the members of the band from the single point of light.

He usually signed he pictures with full signature either within image or in pencil on original mounts.

After another quick google search - I found
reference to a "J Chamberlain" signed mezzotint titled as "River landscape with anglers in olden times" not selling at auction. This picture was dated 1956, at least can extend his active period to c1925 to 1950's

Finally - a picture of one of his mezzotints. A still life study after Jan Van HUYSAM (Dutch 1682 - 1749). This is a still life with a decorative vase of garden flowers and birds nest on a marble ledge within an ornamental garden. Published 1947 by Frost & Reed Ltd.

This is for sale at The Gillies Gallery with a price of £120.00

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A Cely - Boudoir Art

This group of etchings are all signed in pencil "A Cely"

All very typical French boudoir art of the 1920's and 30's, fashionable young ladies out in their best evening wear playing with birds, as one does Executed in the popular style of Louis Icart. These ones probably date to the late 1920's or very early 1930's.

From the picture they look to be correct copper plate dry point etchings, some with aquatint colour. All are signed and have a numbered edition. However, who is this artist ?? A Cely ?? not sure but what ever it reads, it's a new artist to me and I need more information - Can You Help ??

Here are a few more by the same artist.

These feel a little later early 1930's - again similar subjects to Icart.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Alméry Lobel-Riche - Artist Printmaker

Sometimes, well quite often, I just buy what I like !! Beauty and quality just shout - BUY ME !! and this picture was one of those moments. Not cheap to buy, so there was a high degree of financial risk. This had to be a good buy - and being a large period original etching of a Russian dancer, signed, numbered and titled in pencil. It ticks all the boxes on my mental buying check list, except ??? Who was the artist -- what do you think ?

Danseuse Russe by Lobel-Riche

On close examination we can see that it is an original copper plate etching with hand painted colours in watercolour with signature, titled and edition number in pencil. In addition there is also a signature within the plate - but who is this artist ???

Easy to track - Alméry Lobel-Riche (1880-1950) a Swiss born French painter printmaker especially of portraits, medieval subjects and the female figure. His real name was Alméric Riche; he lived and studied in Paris, spending sometime studying at Beaux-arts de Montpellier and in Paris before establishing himself as a successful engraver and illustrator of books, especially those special limited edition illustrated "erotic editions" the French loved.

these are very tame !! often they are just too explicit.

Such titles include; Les Fleurs Du Mal by Charles Baudelaire (1923), Vingt Histoires Extraordinaires by Edgar Poe (1927), Salome by Oscar Wilde (1930) and Poupees de Paris by Gustave Coquiot. These titles with the etchings intact can now be worth up to £5000 each.

More to my taste are his pictures that are tame enough to hang on the wall !! some were created as folio editions whilst others as stand alone works of art and not limited to erotic subjects. Many of his earlier engravings upto c1915, remind me of Paul Cesar Helleu (1859-1927) with the belle epoque ladies in big hats.

Whilst during the inter-war years he created most of the adult material often seen for sale as single pages pulled out of books. These are still original etching, although rarely signed in pencil. They feel incomplete once taken away from the texts they were created for.

For something a little safer, his commercial art commissions included poster design, big bright and easy to understand - very graphic.

During WWII he left occupied Paris and to live in Meymac Corrèze, where his wife came from. He did return to Paris after the war to complete several more folios of etchings, including; Visions de Danse by Billy Andre (1949)

plates from "Vision de Danse" 1949

an oil painting and signed etching.

I struggled to find many other large scale pencil signed etchings, the market seems to be dominated by the erotic book plates. It looks as if I bought well and am now sure that once beautifully framed I can find a buyer for it. 

These pictures don't really fall into Icart and Milliere type "Boudoir Art" genre that I am so much a fan of and he probably should be catorgorised as a "minor boudoir artist", for no other reason than numbers, the quality is of the highest order - major - just that there are so few about.

 SEE - for current stock.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Arthur Dupagne (1895-1961)

It was whilst I was searching for imformation on Emile Monier that I discovered the talents of Arthur Dupagne (1895-1961) and like Monier the enduring theme through his work is Africa and especially the peoples of the Congo.

It's the sculptural nature of the figures that attracts me - there is an architectural feel to them, enough but not too much detail, just a few layers of shapes built up to created a striking composition, just feel the power!! A very "art deco" way of looking at the world. Impressionism with shapes rather than colours.
My initial interest was medals and the artists that created them, for some that was there main area of productivity whilst for other, like Dupagne, it was just another outlet for his talent. He could apply his style to monumental sculpture as comfortably as he was able in miniature.

.... and the man ..
Arthur Dupagne was a Belgium artist born in Liège in 1895; he know to have studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Liège, where studied under the artists Georges Petit and the Belgium sculptor  Oscar Berchmans (1869-1950).

This training gave him a stolid base from which to develop his own style. A style that was formed from the period (1927-1935) he spent working in the Belgium Congo as an engineer in the diamond mines of Kasai. Where he encountered the ethnic native art of the Tchokwe Kingdom with scary masks - a direct influence can be seen in his later works.

His now fully developed style earned him numerous commissions, including scultpures for the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1938, another for the New York Worlds' Fair of 1939 and the Bantu torque for the Brussels World Fair in 1958 .

The monumental bas relief sculpture created for the Worlds' Fair survives, having bequested to the Virginia Union University and is located on the inner courtyard at the base of the majestic Belgian Friendship Tower.

His work is featured in museum and gallery collections around the world including; the Museum of Walloon Art in Liège, the Municipal Museum of Fine Arts d'Ixelles and the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren .


Striking works of art, well worth looking for.

To return to the "20thC Medal Artists" index - CLICK HERE
This blog is "free to all" with no joining fees - financed by the few clicks on sponsored adverts.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Jean Lecroart (1883-1967)

La Femme de la Belle Epoque - a lovely recent purchase; a finely minted Belgium bronze medal signed J Lecroart  - who ??

He was a Belgium artist, sculptor and medallist, born in Laeken, north west of Brussels in 1883. It is recorded that he studied under the Belgium painter sculptor Hippolyte Le Roy (1857-1943) and that subsequently he based himself in Paris before settling in Charente-Maritime in western France.

a medal and painting by Lecroart's tutor Le Roy

"The Naiads" Lecroart's own work - link
Naiads being nymphs of streams and freshwater from ancient Greek mythology -
I am not sure but they looks to be Oceanids dancing in the sea !!

One his medal was included in the 1919 edition MEDAILLES HISTORIQUES of BELGIQUE published by the SOCIETÉ ROYALE DE NUMISMATIQUE, where his style was summarized as "M. Lecroart
cherche des formes les adapte avec bonheur à ses sujets" which roughly translates to - Mr. Lecroart looks for new forms and adapts them with happiness to his subjects. - A new and fresh look.!!

Whilst living in Charante-Maritime he taught painting at ?? where one of his student was the precociously talented artist Elie Miller-Ranson (1907-1989). Other students include artists such as Claude Gérard. In addition to his paintings and medals he created several larger scale memorial bronzes, such as can be found in the cemetery in D'Ixelle and the plaque commemorating Gaston Gallopin

His medal can be found in many museum collection across Europe, including; the British Museum and Brighton and Hove Museums, who have the "Hygieia" medal.

"Hygieia" designed before 1913

"La Pensee" designed by 1909

There must be more !!
Any suggestions.

To return to the "20thC Medal Artists" index - CLICK HERE
This blog is "free to all" with no joining fees - financed by the few clicks on sponsored adverts.