Illustration for Hésperus by Carlos Schwabe, Symbolist Japon aquarelle, 1904


Stone lithograph from Carlos Schwabe’s series of hand-colored aquarelle illustrations for Catulle Mendès’ Hésperus, published in 1904 by Société de propagation des livres d'art, Paris. This work comes from the extremely scarce edition on Imperial Japon paper, a mulberry bark-based stock inspired by the smooth-surfaced papers used in Japanese printmaking.

Carlos Schwabe was one of the most important Symbolist artists during the Golden Age of the Bibliophile, a period beginning just before the 20th century during which lavish volumes of books including Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal (Flowers of Evil) were produced. No expense was spared in their creation; it was common for publishers to produce multiple separate editions and sizes for one title, including extremely rare editions with hand-colored aquarelle elements on Imperial Japon paper. Schwabe created illustrations for several books during this period, including Émile Zola's Le rêve, Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal, and Catulle Mendès’ Hésperus.

Paper measures 8 5/8 x 12 inches. Light pencil markings in margin. Image remains impeccable and will frame beautifully. This artwork is presented in an archival rag mat and arrives accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

Notable museum collections featuring works by Carlos Schwabe include: Musée d'Orsay, Paris; Louvre Museum Database, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York City; Art Institute of Chicago; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.