|Eglise de la Madeleine by Marcel Lucien Baron.|
Here's another example of the half a dozen or so (maybe add another one or two) of the more desirable Paris city view etchings in the prolific oeuvre of the aquatint etcher Marcel Lucien Baron (1872-1956). Most of his prints, offered in fairly large quantities in online auctions like Ebay, are i.m.h.o. in the "bread and butter and giftshop-tourist-souvenir" department, but somehow, someday he managed to improve and surpass the rather weak and dull appearance of many of his city views. Technically I think there's nothing wrong with all his prints, I suspect he was trained by his father from a young age (but that is still under investigation, he is not mentioned having studied in any official school or institutions) and he must have picked up the latest developments and possibilities about this technique from contemporary artist and colleagues working in Paris. But what amazes me is the difference in artistic quality in his oeuvre. Since he left no dates on his prints, one can only guess but I think personal contact with some of the artists mentioned here may have contributed to his inspiration.
|Eglise de la Madeleine by Hans Figura|
The aquatint technique, no doubt, came from Vienna where the long-lived Willam Unger (1837-1932) taught graphics at the “Grafischen Lehr und Versuchsanstalt’. His student Luigi Kasimir (1881-1962) and his later wife Johanna (Tanna) Hoerner (1887-1972) developed and perfected it. Together with Max Pollak (1886-1970), who studied at the same school and Tavik Frantisek Simon (1877-1942). Pollak emigrated to the US in 1927 and rose to great fame and the reputation of Franz Simon is without equal. It is this trio that gained such succes worldwide with their city views and colored etching.
|Eglise de la Madeleine by Luigi Kasimir|
Before them etchings were colored by hand (not by plate) rather haphazardly.
|Eglise de la Madeleine by Tavik Frantisek Simon.|
All these men stayed, lived and worked in Paris beginning of the century.
I'm sure Marcel Baron will have adopted some of the aquatint technique from their skill and knowledge. Just recently I found another nice clue. In 1926 a young Hans Figura (1898-1978) was in Paris too, it is said (I think he claimed it himself) he had been a student of Luigi Kasimir himself. And he also had been a student in the same “Grafischen Lehr und Versuchsanstalt’ in Vienna. There are some striking similarities in composition in these, their, Madeleine prints and maybe more examples will be found.
And I'm also sure in one way or the other Marcel Baron and Hans Figura will have met.
As he wil also have known that other fine Paris etcher Eugène Véder (1876-1936), his contemporary and colleague. Neil in his Blog (here) wrote passionately about Véder (please do visit !)
Al pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only.