Wednesday, 18 May 2016


Jean Baptiste François Pierre Bulliard (aka Pierre Bulliard) (1742–93)
“Plate 391: Le Tussilage Pétasite” (Butterbur), 1780,
from “Herbier de la France, ou Collection complette des Plantes Indigènes de ce Royaume; avec leurs détails anatomiques, leurs propriétés, et leurs usages en Médecine.” Volume IV (one of the first botanical books printed in colour and, interestingly, one of the few with plates designed and printed by the artist himself).
Engraving coloured by the painstaking and rare Le Blon-Gauthier process (i.e. these impressions are not coloured by watercolour or retouched by hand, but rather the prints were created through the superimposition of up to four plates inked separately by the technique called "à la poupée" for each colour).
Size: (sheet) 32.3 x 23.1 cm; (plate) 22.8 x 17 cm
See additional plates from this publication at http://www.biusante.parisdescartes.fr/histoire/medica/resultats/?cote=08338x04&do=pages. Condition: excellent impression of this rare print with fine colouring by the Le Blon-Gauthier method. There is spotting in the margins and light folds. 

I am selling this beautifully executed engraving coloured by the remarkable Le Blon-Gauthier method for a total cost of AU$87 (currently US$62.78/EUR55.92/GBP43.03 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this rare engraving of great historical importance in the development of colour prints, please contact me at oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com and I will email you a PayPal invoice.


This rare print should make printmakers sit up straight—or at least do a small nod of appreciation for Builliard’s skill and perseverance to personally ink and print all the plates (this is plate 391) in his publication AND in an edition. What make Buillard’s enterprise so amazing is that the technique he used to create each print involves at least three engraved plates—perhaps four—each inked with different colours and printed so that they are superimposed upon each other.

To a certain extent, colour woodblock prints (like the previous one that I posted) also involve separate plates of different colours superimposed to create a single image, but any artist who has explored working with multiple colours using oil-based inks on an intaglio plate (unlike the water-based inks of woodblock prints) knows that the viscosity of each colour—i.e. its oil content—needs to be adjusted so that the colours “stick.”
Regarding the plant illustrated in this engraving, Wikipedia offers the following information: “The Petasites ( genus Petasites ), are herbaceous perennial dioecious of the family Asteraceae. Like coltsfoot , they appreciate the wet edges of streams. …They can become locally invasive, along ditches especially where they then occupy the entire space.”




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