Friday, January 13, 2017

France [11th Post]

New Entries

For some of You , a post dedicated only to Portrait stamps could be an excess and easily lead to a state of profound "boredom" ... I do not include myself in this group and so I can say that it is with great pleasure that " I have today 3 French Portrait series"..I like this kind of stamps,because they always have an history behind, they are the reflex of the Artist skill and  they are the best  indicator of the Engraver's "Mastery" ... 
These 3 series are from 1956 and 1957 and as most of the French series of those days , they are a privileged window to the work of famous stamp designers and engravers... 
After having classified these series, I concluded that all the 19 stamps were designed or engraved by the same group of great Artists (some have participated in several stamps..) ... so I will just give here a 'letter' to each one of them and use it in the sections where are given credits to the Artists involved in the creation of the stamps...

A) Raoul Serres
B) Paul Pierre Lemagny
C) Albert Decaris
D) Charles Mazelin
E) André Spitz
F) Jean Pheulpin
G) Louis Muller
H) Charles Paul Dufresne
I) Henri Cottet
J) Jules Piel
K) Michel Ciry
L) Claude Hertenberger
M) Maurice Lalau
N) Robert Cami
O) Pierre Munier

 Left] Guillaume Boudé

                              Right] Jean Goujon

Left] Samuel De Champlain

                              Right] Jean Baptiste Chardin

Left] Maurice Barrés

                                    Right] Maurice Ravel

I have remembered many times the viewers to click the pictures to get a more detailed image because a suitable appreciation of each of the stamps can only be made with such larger images... the details of a good engraving often escape to our appreciation but a good image 'free' all that is hidden from our sight...this way we can see many particularities of each of the Artists, and above all the different techniques of the great Art of Engraving...
Personally, I think that the most accomplished of these 6 stamps are without any doubts the 4th and 5th...the 4th stamp is based in a auto portrait of the painter himself , but in my opinion the engraver work is one of the the best of the 6 stamps...both these two stamps have the most realistic designs, almost like photos while the other 4 seem to me like more distant from the reality (they don't look like real persons, but more like paintings or like in Ravel's stamp, caricatures..) if I had to choose the better stamp of these series I would choose the 5th... (Great Design , Great Engraving..)...
1956 "Portraits of French Famous People" (6) [Des/Engr (B/D)(G/H)(C/C)(B/L)(E/F)(K/I)] [Recess] Sc(B303,...,B308)

Left] Jean De Joinville

                                     Right] Bernard Palissy

Left] Quentin De La Tour

                                   Right] Robert De Lamennais

Left] George Sand 

                                    Right] Jules Guesde

It is somehow curious to note the amount of information we can gather with time about the engraving techniques of some Artists.. for example if we pick the stamp nº4 of this series , designed and engraved by Charles Mazelin, we can notice some similarities with other works he have done, in this case for Morocoo.... I have here two stamps I want to share with You (they were already shown in the Blog) that present some similar characteristics with this one...

Now,if I had to choose one stamp in this series  it would be the Mazelin's stamp or Nº6...but in the end the Nº6 is much more complex , and it is a marvelous work... so, it is , Nº6..!!
 1957 "Portraits of French Famous People" (6) [Des/Engr (M/N)(G/A)(B/F)(D/D)(B/B)(I/I) [Recess] Sc(B312,...,B317)

I think that in this series there are two Excellent stamps... the Rembrandt and the Mozart's ...both are great works,each one with it's style, but I would choose the Nº6 (Mozart)
1957 "Portraits of Foreign Famous People" (7) [Des/Engr (J/J)(M/D)(C/C)(L/L)(M/O)(E/A)(B/L)][Recess] Sc(857,...,863)

well, it was not a very diverse post ,but I think it was the time to show these series... it was more a contemplative post, without many words but in the end I think it well worth the time...


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