Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Picture of the week No.9 - K X Roussel

Most museums are like icebergs; the collections on display represent only a small part of the whole with most of the objects hidden below the waterline in stores, in conservation, or out on loan, and on this blog we hope to show some of those pieces currently hidden away. But museums can also be a little like ducks, calm on the surface but paddling like fury underneath: preparing exhibitions, fundraising, promoting, caring for collections, cataloguing, writing lectures, dealing with enquiries from publications, trying to keep the shop stocked... the list is endless and invariably outside the nationals it is small teams doing a whole varied range of things. So even as we take down the Edward Bawden Exhibiton and start to install 'Clocking In' (more to follow!) we can't help but think ahead to the Toulouse Lautrec touring exhibition from the British Museum that comes to Bedford Gallery in January. It also reminds us some of the fantastic French lithographs in the collection from that period, so that is where this weeks picture of the week comes from. KP
Ker Xavier ROUSSEL (1867-1944)
L’Education du Chien (Training the Dog), 1893

lithograph, 330 × 193 cm (image)
inscribed: K X Roussel No.51

Accession No. P.565
PROVENANCE: Purchased from London Graphic Art Associates, July 1967.
REFERENCES: J. Salomon, K X Roussel L’Oeuvre Graphique, 1967, no.10.
NOTES: Number 51 of 100 impressions. Published by L’Estampe Originale in 1893.

Trained at the Académie Julian, Paris from 1888, Roussel was one of the founding members of the Nabis group, which included BONNARD, VALLOTTON, Paul Ranson (1864-1909), DENIS and VUILLARD, the latter two having been school friends of Roussel. The influence of Japanese prints can be clearly seen in Roussel’s own printmaking, with the use of flattened colours and picture planes.

In 1893 the publisher André Marty and Roger Marx started L’Estampe Originale. The intention was to issue two portfolios a year for five years. Only nine were ever published. The portfolios contained coloured lithographs by artists such as TOULOUSE-LAUTREC, BONNARD, DENIS, SIGNAC and Roussel.

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