This is one of several "postcards" I have from the collection of Count Benedict Tyszkiewicz (1852-1935). The reason I use quote marks around "postcards" is because the Count didn't simply collect the popular, mass-produced cards of the day. Many of his cards appear to be high quality, first run printings by fine art publishers in Paris. Hence, no "carte postale" design with the divided line, the stamp square, etc. Verso is blank with his customized stamped address. Once you have the card in hand, you'll notice the quality of paper used. Definitely not typical postcard-grade paper.
This Lady in Lavender shares similarities with Winter Forest Fairy, another one of the Count's cards I have listed here: http://www.rubylane.com/item/274812-7906/Artist-Signed-Henri-Gervex78-Figaro-Illustration This card was also printed by Jean Boussod, Manzi, Joyant & Company and was also featured on the front cover of Figaro (Christmas of 1897). I've included a copy of what that original print looked like. Notice the color differences. Perhaps I'm biased, but I think the lavender postcard version is overall much prettier. Instead of a gray shawl, this one is golden yellow with a flower design.
It is difficult to see, but to the right of the woman's shoes, under the balustrade, is the artist's signature: François Flameng (1856–1923) was a very successful Parisian painter who became a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts. He decorated such important civic buildings as the Sorbonne and the Opera Comique, and he even produced advertising work. A bit of trivia I found most interesting: He designed France's first bank notes.
Fine print at the bottom note: Printed in Pairs -- Copyright 1897. Boussod and Company was an incarnation of what began as Goupil & Cie in 1827. Thanks to Wiki for this description: "a leading art dealership in 19th-century France, with headquarters in Paris. ... To feed an emerging middle-class market for inexpensive art, Goupil's factory outside Paris employed skilled craftsmen to produce engraved, etched, photographic and even sculptural copies of paintings in vast quantities."
This card is hand-dated 1902. There is the slightest (and I do mean slightest) hint of wear on the edges. There are a few errant dark specks, which seem to be inherent to the printing. But overall, I'm proud to say this card is in near mint condition.
About the Count: Benedict Tyszkiewicz was of Polish-Lithuanian nobility and a famous photographer in his own right. He lived in Paris and was a member of the Paris Photo Club and the French Photographical Society. He was also a well-known art collector as well as a patron of the arts. He would often buy lithograph postcards, put his return address stamp on them, and have them delivered to the artist to be autographed! To see all of the Count's cards I have available, copy and paste Tyszkiewicz (or Count or Polish) into the search bar.
Size: about 3.5 by 5.5 inches.
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