Original Antique Signed French Lithograph 'Le Passant' 1898.
This exquisite and very rare Antique French Lithograph is from L'Estampe Moderne series #11 ~ issued in March 1898 to the avid poster collectors of Paris.
The lithographic poster was one of the defining artistic devises of the latter part of the 19th Century. In the 1890's a craze for collecting posters swept Europe and publishers, especially in France, issued lavish albums of original prints. L'Estampe Moderne series was published monthly in Paris between May 1897 and April 1899. It is arguably the finest collection of Art Nouveau posters available today.
Entitled 'Le Passant' (the passer by), it was designed by German artist Robert Engels ~1866-1926~to promote a play of the same title staring the young and emerging great French actress Sarah Bernhardt. The play, a comedy by Francoise Coppee, was a major triumph for 'the Divine Sarah' in her role as Zanetto the minstrel. It was a role she played in command performance for Napoleon 3rd.
This wonderful Lithograph depicts 2 lovely young maidens, in romanticized Medieval attire, hand in hand, observing a passer-by on horseback.
It was part of a very limited de luxe edition of only 150 copies, see picture #3, and it bears the official 'blind' stamp of authenticity in the lower right corner. See picture #4
Printed by Champenoise of Paris and signed in the print, the Condition is Fair to good. There is some all-over creasing, which should, with time, frame out. There is also discoloration and yellowing in the margins, particularly lower right, wrinkling of the corners and a small (1/4") tear and wear marks to the top corners. Most of which is in the margins and does not affect the image.
This is an extremely rare lithograph and, while the damage is taken into account when pricing, this is one of the L'Estampe Moderne original lithographs that are no longer available on the world market. Please email me if you would like more photographs.
The colors are glorious as only works from the early lithographic process can be and this is my favourite of all the L'Estampe Moderne Lithographs.
Picture #5 is a typical cover of the series and is included for authentication purposes only and is not for sale.
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