japonisme: text/textile

19 August 2007


while doing some research for this post, i came across a fascinating statement. armond fields, in his 1983 book henri riviere, says, 'in 1879 there appeared a weekly magazine which was unlike any other of the time: la vie moderne. what make it so extraordinary were its illustrations, which were not black and white wood engravings like the other journals, but were color gillotypes, -- color photoengravings.

charles gillot had invented the process to faith- fully reproduce drawings and sketches. it involved making color separations for each color to be printed. it required technical mastery of both photography and engraving, as the separations were prepared by a skilled engraver and the plates were made by a photographer. interestingly enough, this process, which altered the course of color printing, was invented by an ardent collector of japanese prints, who was perhaps influenced by them in his invention.'

in doing some research on this intriguing suggestion i stumbled across a blog showcasing much of what was being done in publishing (on a letterpress level?) during this period. one can find fascinating examples tracing the development of trends in design, illustration and typography during this exciting transitional phase.

the increasing influence of the japanese work on all three elements is obvious (including in some places where it seems completely gratuitous), and one can feel the excitement building as possibilities continue to open before the artists.

from georges auriol to sarah bernhardt, from the arts magazine cocorico to madame bovary, the presentation is beautifully simple and all in french. will someone please tell me what he is saying?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. and thanks for this information – it is very enlightening. I have another source stating the same. However, I have a copy of la vie moderne journal hebdomadaire 1884, it states Typographique which when I looked up the definition, it was a method of printing text, gravures, and photos.

I have a question and not sure if you can answer. In one of the prints I have an illustration, and in the bottom, it states an Original Crayon print. How would one tell by looking at the print if the print was a gillotage or some other type of print like relief wood block. I have a magnifying glass and can see the crayon black outline of the drawing. Any suggestions or ideas.
Any help or advise is appreciated

16 January, 2014 10:24  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

Hi -- I'm sorry but I'm not an expert about this. I have two names of people who might be able to help you better than I can. First, there's Gerrie @ http://gerrie-thefriendlyghost.blogspot.com/ -- you can ask him. The other one that I think of is not somebody I know, but I read his blog. His name is Steven Heller and he's at http://www.printmag.com/author/steven-heller/. Good luck.

16 January, 2014 12:50  

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