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Sale 2435 | Lot 39
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
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Sale 2435 Lot 39
PRIVAT-LIVEMONT (1861-1936) [LA VAGUE.] 1897. 20 1/2x27 1/4 inches, 52x69 1/4 cm. Condition A: errant pencil mark in lower margin; stain and mat staining in margins. Matted and framed. In the second half of the 19th century, Paris, the Impressionists, the young Art Nouveau poster artists and much of artistic Europe were all under the spell of Japanese Ukiyo-e (Floating World) woodblock prints. Among the most famous of these prints was Katsushika Hokusai's The Wave. The influence of the Japanese print could be found in paintings and posters. For Livemont to actually take on making a print of a wave himself was certainly a brazen idea. The result, however, was worthy of its original namesake; it was his best decorative panel and a masterpiece of lithography. He harmoniously intertwines the tidal, windswept and frothy hair of an ethereal woman (adorned with golden seashells) with the sea itself. Livemont was no stranger to depicting the ocean; in 1896 he designed a poster for Cabourg, with a red-haired woman amidst the waves off the French coast, and he created this languid print the following year. Octavus Manus, a contemporary critic, explains that the image "printed in four shades . . . and highlighted in gold, it achieves as an art form, the highest degree of skill. The superimposing hues, thanks to the perfect registering, varies the effects harmoniously, and the skillful graduation of the tinting gives the entire work an infinite delicacy" (Belle Epoque II p. 49). Gold 199, Belle Epoque II 70.