Violets by Paul de Longpre Print Antique Victorian.
This antique print is by the French Victorian watercolorist, Paul de Longpre (b. 1855, d. 1911, see biography and photograph). It is a grand bouquet of double violets, and is signed lower right of the bouquet. The flower colors are beautiful and unfaded, with multiple hues of lavender and purple, as well as light blue and magenta accent contrasts. In Victorian times, the little violets symbolized the virtue of "Faithfulness". This print is a chromolithograph, made with overlapping colors applied in layers, and all aligns in perfect register. It was made in the 1890's period, and is housed in the original burnished gold frame with the old hand-rolled wavy glass. At each corner are burnished brass rose and flower brackets. The print was made by The Gazette, and was a Carrier Greetings piece from 1908. Under the mat it shows the copyright date of 1906 by the Gray Lithographic Company of New York, No. 1293F. This antique print comes from the personal collection of Nancy C. Hall, author of the book The Life and Art of Paul de Longpre, and is autographed on the back by Nancy with this information.
The print is in VG condition, and the frame is in VG condition with the usual corner bumping wear as expected of a piece over 100 years old. Overall size is aprox 14.75 x 17.75 inches, ready to hang. Please excuse any glass glare and shadows in the photos, they are not on the print or mat.
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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.
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