COULEURS SUPERFINES POUR L'AQUARELLE.
Paris: A. Lefranc, Succ. n.d. ca. 1870. A rare and handsome French trade poster with 156 hand-applied nineteenth century watercolour paint tint samples from the oldest French art paint manufacturer. Within decoratively printed borders are rows of printed rectangles, each filled by hand with different original watercolour tintsand washes and with the printed name of each colour. Remarkably, the colours appear to be unfaded and, arrayed in this fashion, they present an extraordinary visual document of a commercially available color range for artists of the late 19th century. The venerable firm of Lefranc Frères (later LeFranc, Bourgeois) traces its origins to the 18th century Parisian chemist and apothecary, Charles Leclef, who began producing pigments for his Left Bank neighbour, the still life painter Jean Simèon Chardin. Since then the firm (at one point known as " "La clef d'argent) has always been at the vanguard of creating or supplying the needs of artist/painters. We have not located another copy of this unusual advertising broadside in OCLC, CCfr or elsewhere. Single sheet broadside, 59 x 44 cm.; printed border and text in brown ink; with 78 printed rectangles each measuring 2.2 x 5 cm. with coloured bands of original color in each block, along with hand written or printed identification for the original watercolour samples in each rectangle.
Broadside on heavy paper printed and with hand-applied colour samples; dampstain and soiling in margins (darker on blank verso); 7 cm closed tear starting in left margin.
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