Dec 11, 2008

Paris under Snow

Paris under Snow


Auguste Louis Lepère

(French, 1849–1918)

Wood engraving

Border: 30.2 x 45.4 cm (11 7/8 x 17 7/8 in.)

Gift of Mrs. Malcolm L. McBride 1947.138

Catalogue raisonné: Lotz-Brissonneau, 230

State: only state



Wood engraving was perfected about 1770 in England by Thomas Bewick (1753-1828). Since the end grain of a hard wood is used, the block can be engraved with a sharp instrument called a burin, making closely set lines possible and producing a great range of textures and tones. The surface of the block is inked and printed so that the engraved lines appear as white areas. The strength of the block meant that numerous impressions could be printed. Wood engraving thus became a principal method for illustrating books and newspapers in the 19th century.
Lepère developed an extraordinary mastery of wood engraving, which he used to effectively describe a snowy view of central Paris. The confetti-like snowflakes silhouetted against the dark river, and the overall blurring effect caused by the snowfall in the distance, are a tour de force.

See also
PR - Wood engraving
Type of artwork: 

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