France: no publisher, no date (early twentieth century). Single sheet of six woodblock prints, printed recto only and colored en pochoir, measuring 14.75 x 19 inches.
Striking hand-colored sheet of six “images d'Épinal.” Inexpensive broadsides like these were hugely popular in France in the nineteenth century: naïve woodcuts, brightly colored, featuring images of Catholic saints, Napoleonic battles, and storybook characters. By the turn of the twentieth century, lithography had emerged as the primary printing process, and the range of subjects had greatly expanded, but there was still a market for images printed in the old style, a graphic tradition that influenced modernists from Henri Rousseau to Alfred Jarry. This group of six separate images, printed from blocks on a sheet of Ingres d'Arches paper, may be a publisher’s proof. The domestic and religious subjects include a young woman reaching for a flower, the devotional image of Christ in the winepress, and an angel watching over the city gates. A fine example.