Thursday, 25 August 2016

Alexandre Calame’s lithographs


Alexandre Calame (1810–1864)
LEFT IMAGE
"Landscape with Pine", c.1850-60, printed and published by François Delarue (fl.1850–60s)
Lithograph on tan chine-collé washi paper on heavy wove white paper
Size: (sheet) 45.5 x 54 cm; (image) 30.1 x 40.2 cm
Lettered in the plate below the image: (lower left) “François Delarue, Ëditeur, r. J.J. Rousseau, 18, Paris.”; (lower centre) “A. Calame / 9”; (lower right) “Imp. Fois. Delarue, Paris.”
Condition: excellent impression in near pristine condition (i.e. there is no foxing, stains, tears, holes or abrasions but there are signs of handling in terms of a few superficial marks). This print is in superb condition for its age.

RIGHT IMAGE
“Rocky Landscape”, c.1850-60, printed and published by François Delarue (fl.1850–60s)
Lithograph on tan chine-collé washi paper on heavy wove white paper
Size: (sheet) 32.1 x 22.4 cm; (image) 19.7 x 15.3 cm
Inscribed with the artist’s signature within the image (lower right).
Lettered in the plate above the image: (upper left) “OEUVRES DE A CALAME”; (upper right) “No. 58.”
Lettered in the plate below the image: (lower left) “Esquisse peinte.”; (lower centre) “Imp. Fois. Delarue, Paris.”; (lower right) “François Delarue, Edit, r. J.J. Rousseau, 18, Paris.”
Condition: excellent impression in pristine condition (i.e. there is no foxing, stains, tears, holes or abrasions). This print is in perfect condition.

I am selling this pair of lithographs (one that is very large and the other is small) for AU$169 in total (currently US$128.99/EUR114.23/GBP97.50 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this pair of lithographs by one of the major Swiss artists of the 19th century, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.












In the nineteenth century the notion of the sublime seen in landscape was a current preoccupation amongst artists with a leaning towards Romanticism.

Indeed, this pair of lithographs by one of Switzerland’s the best known artists, Alexandre Calame, exemplifies an artist wish to communicate the heart-stopping awe experienced when trying to comprehend Alpine grand vistas. As is normally the case when artists present feelings of spiritual transcendence, Calame uses plunging perspectives and the juxtaposition of landscape features to connote spatial depth (e.g. a large craggy rock in the foreground may be abutted beside tiny landforms in the far distance). What I find especially appealing about Calame engagement with the sublime, however, is his use of a golden hue in these lithographs that presents the portrayed landscape as otherworldly.

Of course, Calame was not the first to use such a golden cast to colour his artwork. There was an ongoing convention of leaning artworks towards sepia or brown. In fact, the ‘miroir noir”, or Claude glass, was an optical device designed specifically to help artists to “give the object of nature a soft, mellow tinge like the colour of that Master” (viz. Claude Lorrain) (quote from Red William Gilpin cited in the marvellous book by Anthea Callen [2015], “The Work of Art: Plein-air Painting and Artistic Identity in Nineteenth-century France”, p. 61).

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