Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Frédéric-Émile Simon’s lithograph, “Cascades d'Allerheiligen” (All Saints Waterfalls), c1840

Frédéric-Émile Simon (1805-1886)
“Cascades d'Allerheiligen” or “Wasserfälle von Allerheiligen”, c1840, published with three folds (see my attribution of the publisher in the discussion about this print), printed by E Simon & Fils (fl. 1840s) Strasbourg.

(Note that my attribution of this date is based on access to the waterfalls being opened to the public by a path having been constructed by the forestry department/authority in 1840—see the upper section of the image where a path is visible. Nevertheless, the falls were accessible before 1940 by use of ladders and these may also to be seen in the lower section of this image.)

Lithograph in two colours (black and light cream) on laid paper, published with three folds. The folds have been flattened and the sheet is lined onto a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 30.8 x 11.4 cm; (image borderline) 26.1 x 5.4 cm
Lettered below the image borderline: (left) “Cascades d'Allerheiligen”; “lith. E. Simon à Strasbourg / Wasserfälle von Allerheiligen”

Condition: faultless, well-printed impression with margins in excellent condition. There are flattened folds from the publication format and a few faint spots of foxing at the upper right. The sheet is laid upon a conservator’s support sheet of fine washi paper.

I am selling this remarkable lithograph of the All Saints Waterfalls (German: Allerheiligen-Wasserfälle) that Wikipedia advises is “located in the Black Forest on the territory of the town of Oppenau in the German state of Baden-Württemberg” for AU$114 (currently US$87.36/EUR75.10/GBP66.09 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this highly unusual topographical view of cascades where each level of the falls is at eye-level, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

From what I have been able to discover from records in IdRef (Identifiers and Repositories) regarding the origin of this exceptionally long vertical lithograph, is that it may have been extracted from either of these two publications (but there may be another that I have not discovered):

- “Map of the course of the Rhine from Basel to Lauterbourg”, published by the Department of Rhine Works in 1934, consisting of 18 plates commissioned by Mr Couturat at the expense of the Administration for Bridges and Roads (see: http://www.sudoc.fr/168430002)

- “Works of the Rhine …” (cartographic material) published by the Department of Rhine Works in 1853 in the 6th edition with lithographs by E Simon & Fils (see: http://www.sudoc.fr/168831147)

What makes this print so special is that it is a perfect example of how a skilful 19th century lithographer might represent the topographical complexity of stepped waterfalls. This is an amazing feat! What is interesting to compare this print with—and I admit that the comparison is a tad far flung—is Dujardin’s treatment of the tree discussed in my previous post. In Dujardin’s approach to representing a tall tree, he has determined where his eye-level is on the tree and above and below this point he gradually changes the curves of his contour strokes to match his angle of view. In the case of Simon’s representation of this trail of waterfalls, Simon has changed his angle of view with each waterfall so that each drop is at eye-level. This approach is, of course, highly appropriate for a typographical representation of the stepped falls but it is remarkably different to Dujardin’s intimately personal viewpoint.

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