Paul de Longpre Butterfly Print s Yard Long Antique Victorian.
This set of six c1889 butterfly prints is by the French Victorian artist, Paul de Longpre (b.1855, d.1911 -- see biography below). They are extremely rare and are dated 1889, PRIOR to de Longpre's arrival in America. These are outstanding examples of de Longpre's early work (which is almost non-existent). The colorful butterflies and meadow flowers are just beautiful, with bright unfaded hues. The artwork execution is superb. It would have taken de Longpre almost two years to paint them and get them to print, hence their creation about 1887.
Each magnificent chromolithograph has excellent color and is in pristine condition. They are entitled:
"Butterflies and Clover" "Butterflies and Lilac" "Butterflies and Clematis" "Butterflies and Daisies" "Butterflies and Cape Heath" "Butterflies and Wild Roses".
These images are unsigned, but documented and signed in the two elephant folio pages in our personal collection. This piece comes from the personal collection of Nancy Hall, the author of the book "The Life & Art of Paul de Longpre". The back is autographed by Nancy, stating it is from her personal collection. The prints have a softly textured faux suede mat that compliments the color hues beautifully. The prints are housed in a quarter-sawn oak frame with gorgeous minial ray grain, and at each corner is a burnished brass flying songbird embellishment. Overall size is 11 x 41 inches, a grand focal point for any grouping, or over a doorway, couch, nook, just beautiful!
Paul de Longpre biography:
Paul de Longpré (b. 1855, d. 1911), a French Victorian flower painter, was born in Villeurbanne, France (a suburb of Lyon). He was self-taught at a young age, favoring the little daisy and La France hybrid rose. De Longpre exhibited at the prestigious Paris Salon, but eventually lost most of his money in a bank collapse. He then emigrated to the United States in 1890, living in New York.
In an age when many artists were painting oils on dark, moody canvasses, de Longpre gained fame with his cheery, bright watercolor studies through a New York exhibition in the dead of winter. He eventually moved to Hollywood in 1899 where flowers were more plentiful year round, and befriended many influential residents and politicians. There he built a palatial Moorish style mansion, which became quite a large tourist attraction, and gleaned the coveted first stop on the famous Balloon Route Excursion. Tourists would walk from the rail cars into his rose garden, where they could enjoy his 3,000 rose bushes in full bloom, tour the mansion, and also buy original watercolor paintings.
De Longpre was one a very few artists who gained recognition and fame during his lifetime, and he was quite successful, parlaying his paintings into many different 1890’s media, such as: chromolithographic prints, celluloid mirror and photo albums, sheet music, shaving mirrors, seed and perfume displays, as well as using the studies for countless advertising prints. He died at the young age 56, from tuberculosis, a common malady at that time, after a long battle with an ear infection. He was survived by his three daughters, none of whom had children. His wife Josephine, and his daughter Pauline moved back to France after the mansion was sold, and in 1925, the mansion was demolished to make room for new bungalow housing. His watercolor paintings and chromolithograph prints are his greatest legacy, and are highly sought after.