[San Francisco]: Imagerie Pellerin Épinal (An Intrinsics Production), 1964. Color lithograph printed on cardstock, measuring 18.25 x 24.75 inches.
Oversized psychedelic reproduction of a nineteenth-century Épinal construction print, the third in a series of six European architectural models produced in San Francisco in the 1960s. In 1796, Jean-Charles Pellerin founded a workshop in the French town of Épinal, turning out inexpensive, hand-colored woodcuts of Catholic saints, Napoleonic battles, and storybook characters. By the end of the nineteenth century, lithography had emerged as the preferred process for Épinal prints, and the range of subjects had greatly expanded. One popular genre was the construction print, providing generations of French children with do-it-yourself toy models of architectural landmarks. This eye-popping modern series of lithographs reproduces six historic Épinal construction prints on a poster-sized scale, the images reimagined in the fluorescent Day-Glo colorways of the mid-1960s. The complete series includes: 1) the New Town Hall in Paris, 2) the Old Chancellery in Leeuwarden, 3) Ambras Castle in the Tyrol, 4) the Hotel de Ville in Franeker, 5) a historic villa near Palermo, and 6) the Hotel de Ville in Veere. A fine synthesis of two popular iconographic traditions: the Épinal print and the psychedelic poster.