Man with his hand up a waitress's skirt
Definitive state in colour
Artists such as Picasso, Chagall, Dalí, Miró, Buffet, Beaudin, and Masson all benefited from the craft skills of Roger Lacourière and Jacques Frélaut, who were the pre-eminent taille-douciers of the postwar years (a taille-doucier is a specialist in printing intaglio prints such as etchings and engravings, on a hand press from the original plate). The work of such printers has scarcely changed in centuries, and often the skills were passed down in families (two famous father and son taille-douciers of the twentieth century were Edmond and J. J. J. Rigal, and Raul and Raymond Haasen). Often, too, the taille-douciers were themselves printmakers of note.
In the case of Roger Lacourière, he had been a significant figure in the Paris art world since just after the First World War. From 1919 until the Great Depression, Lacourière ran the printing atelier La Roseraie, in the building next door to the studio of another great artist and taille-doucier, Jean-Gabriel Daragnès, in the avenue Junot in Montmartre. Like Daragnès, Lacourière was both a printer and a publisher. He printed the etchings for the books published by his own Éditions de la Roseraie, and also for Les Éditions d’Art Devambez. The artistic director of both of these lists was Édouard Chimot (working from his studio nearby in rue Ampère), and the artists and writers who contributed to them were all regulars at the atelier of Daragnès, which was really the hub of the Montmartre artistic and literary scene between the wars.
In colour with remarques
In black-and-white with remarques
In black-and-white from the cancelled plate
This post celebrates the exquisite craftsmanship of Roger Lacourière with images of every known state of one of André Dignimont’s etchings for Amants et voleurs by Tristan Bernard, printed and published by La Roseraie in 1927. Dignimont (1891-1965) was one of the regulars chez Daragnès. I will probably post separately on him in due course. His etchings for Amants et voleurs are among his most remarkable achievements, showing the influence of the German Expressionists. Amants et voleurs was published in an edition of 420 copies: 20 on Japon ancien, 50 on Japon impérial, and 350 on vélin de Rives. My copy is no. 8 on Japon ancien, and although not called for on the justification page, has an original watercolour by Dignimont and a huge stack of loose prints, also on Japon. Besides the etchings in their definitive state in colour, there are four additional suites—in black-and-white, in black-and-white with remarques, in colour with remarques, and in black-and-white with cancellation marks.