Artist and subject are both mysteries in this Salon des Artistes Français of 1912 art reproduction postcard. Edouard Fer (1887-1959) identifies his subject only as "Mlle Jeannine H... en Japonaise." There is, likewise, little biographical information about Fer. He is known for being a student and promoter of Paul Signac, one of the fathers of pointillism. This portrait of Mlle H is from early in his career with a unique style reminiscent, in my opinon, of the modern craze called Zentangle. Franked and hand-dated October 12, 1912, this card was relatively new when sent to Jean Sabotier in Belgium. The salon took place about 6 months earlier in April-May. Cubism was creating a storm in the art world at this exhibition, but I would have been standing for hours right in front of Fer's creation. I have searched in vain for more information on what the original piece of art looked like, color wise. He did win a prize with this painting at the salon. Note the out-of-focus area at the bottom left. I can't explain that but I have definite empathy for any photographer taking a picture of a canvas. If you've tried taking snapshots of your favorite art work at a museum, you know of what I speak! Aside from the funky focus spot, this card has no creases and is in overall fine antique condition. I have included a variety of photos in different light. The best I can describe it is a silvery sepia, other than to say it is astonishingly beautiful, superbly detailed. This postcard is uber rare. I would be hard-pressed, dare I say near impossible, to find another like it in as good of condition.
A few more tidbits I gleamed from my research about Edouard Fer. In a 1999 art book called "Neo-impressionist Painters," Fer is referred to as a disciple of Neo-Impressionism and that his "independent means and connections enabled him to promote Paul Signac." An art and culture magazine based in the Netherlands says that "Fer visited the School for Applied Arts in Nice and Paris and then studied at the art academy in Paris. At the beginning of the 1920s, he designed for the city library in Nice a monumental mural. Murals remained an important part of his work during his career. Among the best known of these paintings is certainly among the canvas that the artist produced for the prestigious passenger ship Île-de-France. In addition to these lucrative contracts Edouard Fer remained active as a painter, watercolorist and engraver. He also became known as a writer thanks to his contributions on Neo-Impressionism and especially his insights on the relationship between light and color." He authored a book about color theory called "Solfege de la Couleur" in 1953. Today, his oil paintings and watercolors still have respectable auction values in Europe.
3.5 by 5.5 inches.
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