Henri Boutet (1851-1919) was a French Belle Époque artist known for the methods used to produce his prints (etching, drypoint and engraving) which gave his work a distinctive style. Many of them are what I call the crayon look, as if you are looking over the artist's shoulder as he works in his journal sketching. Here are five postcards in a rare series depicting the life of a typical Parisian single woman. These scenes are extracts from "Autour d'Elles," a book written and illustrated by Boutet [ see the last photo], published in 1899 by Librairie Ollendorff in Paris. (There's a copy of this book online. If you want to do a bit of copying and pasting into Google translate, I'll send you the link.) Typical antique postcard size, about 3.5 by 5.5 inches. The cards show some wear, as to be expected for something more than 120 years old. One card is stained verso. "Carte postale" bleeds onto the front on some of the cards, visible in the blank space, but doesn't affect the illustrated half of the card, which is artist-signed. Overall, for their age, considering the light off-white background, these cards are in fine antique condition. Unused.
Henri Boutet was known as "le petit Meitre au corset" (the little Master of the corset) because of all his drawings of half-dressed women. His work focused on "La Parisienne." He depicted women ranging from ordinary shop assistants to elegant ladies, managing to portray their common qualities of coquettishness and femininity. In 1902 he published "Les Modes Feminines du XIXe Siecle" which met with instant acclaim. His 100 etchings showed the development of fashion for each year from 1801 to 1900. You can read more about Boutet at the Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York and on Wikipedia.
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Unique French Postcards for the Serious Collector and Other Delights from France!
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