Wednesday, December 24, 2008
In sending everyone who reads this all my best wishes for the holiday season and the year to come, I thought you might like to see a few of the 51 drypoints made by Hermine David for an edition of Sagesse by Paul Verlaine, published in 1943 by Creuzevault, Paris. Apart from the cover, frontispiece, and two full-page images, all of these drypoins were small vignettes in the text; but alongside the total of 450 copies of the book, there were also 100 separate suites of the prints, 50 in black, and 50 printed in colours à la poupée (i.e. the colours hand-applied to the plate for each impression), on thin China paper. The printer was the master taille-doucier Georges Leblanc. My images are from one of the 50 colour suites (I only, in fact, possess the suite, and have never seen the book).
Weirdly, the same publisher issued another copy of the same text, the same year, with completely different illustrations by the same artist, not something I have come across before. The alternative edition was published in 550 copies, illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings.
Hermine David was born in Paris in 1886, and studied at the Académie Julian and at the École des Beaux-Arts. She made her debut at the Salon des Femmes Peintres et Sculpteurs in 1904, subsequently exhibiting at the Sales des Artistes Français, the Salon d'Automne and the Salon des Tuileries.
Hermine David was married to the artist Jules Pascin, and his influence can be seen in her technique. As a printmaker, Hermine David specialised in etching and drypoint. She died in 1971.