Joan of Arc by Eugene Grasset
The clever printers and printmaker artists at the end of the 19th century quickly perfected a simple but very powerful method to produce complex color lithographs by just using a separate stone for the three primary colors and then simply adding a black stone (all carefully aligned) to produce stunning images. This is exemplified in an extremely rare Joan of Arc four color lithograph created by Eugene Grasset and published in 1896 in the most important reference work in poster art history, Les Affiches Illustrees. Used to advertise the theater production of Joan of Arc starring the famous French stage actress Sara Bernhardt, it shows how both printer and artist using just their own artistic eye separated each color into its component parts, anticipating combinations that frequently surprised them to produce outstanding creations.
Technical Details: Four color lithograph, color proofs. Sold as complete set of lithographs including four color proofs and finished final lithograph (total of 5 sheets). Sheet size: 11 x 9 inches. Provenance: Les Affiches Illustrees, 1896.