Horse Swan, Hésperus by Carlos Schwabe, Symbolist Japon aquarelle, 1904


Hand-colored stone lithograph from Carlos Schwabe’s series of aquarelle illustrations for Catulle Mendès’ Hésperus, published in 1904 by Société de propagation des livres d'art, Paris. This work comes from the 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 prominent Symbolist artists during the Golden Age of the Bibliophile, a period beginning just before the 20th century during which lavish volumes of books including Charles 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 Catulle Mendès’ Hésperus, Émile Zola's Le rêve, and Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal.

Paper measures 8 3/4 x 12 inches. Exceptional condition commensurate with age. Light discoloration in margins, image unaffected. 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.