Elisabeth Sonrel (1874 Tours – 1953 Sceaux) was a French painter whose style went from Pre-Raphaelite to Art Nouveau and in later years, she also painted many landscapes and portraits, often in the Brittany region of France. In her lifetime she was quite famous, but as often happens to female artists, her name became obscured in the male-dominated art history books. She was 19 years old when she first exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1893 and would continue to do so through 1941. At the Paris Universal Expo of 1900, her 1895 painting 'Le Sommeil de la Vierge' (Sleep of the Virgin), was awarded a bronze medal and she received the Henri Lehmann prize of 3000 francs by L'académie des Beaux-Arts.
Sonrel's Art Nouveau illustration of spring, "Printemps" in French, is one in a series of the seasons. A fellow Ruby Lane dealer has all four illustrations as framed prints; asking price of $15,000. Interesting to note that those framed prints don't have the season printed in French in the arch flag. It makes me wonder if Sonrel's art was printed in different languages for distribution in other countries ... . I've only seen the French versions and felt lucky to get my hands on this one. Since these postcards were printed with the undivided back (1903 or earlier) the sender had to write any message on front. This often results in ugly, blemished cards. It's difficult enough to find Sonrel's work, let alone in good condition. I found this writing to be acceptable and in fact, adds to the history of this card. I can't decipher all the French; the writing is not legible but I can make out that the sender is talking about proofs and engravings. Note verso this was addressed to the Vice President of the "A.A." Unfortunately, whatever association that was is no longer located at that address in Paris today, but my guess is it was an art association of some kind. So our sender was an artist and selected Sonrel's work to convey her message!
I've included direct scans and photos taken at natural daylight to attempt to capture the details and colors for you. Since computer monitors and color calibration often vary, the card in hand may not be exactly the tones you see here, but it will be somewhere in between and definitely beautiful. I guarantee that!
Typical antique postcard size: 3. 5 by 5.5 inches. Creased right top corner.
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