Paul Hankar Architect by Adolphe Crespin, Art Nouveau lithograph, 1897


Belgian poster artist Adolphe Crespin applies a motif of bees and drafting materials in one of the finest examples of his work, a poster for architect Paul Hankar. The two met at the Ecole d’Art in Schaerbeek while Crespin was a professor of drawing and worked collaboratively on several building projects, including the design for Hankar’s own home. Heavily inspired by Japanese art and design, Crespin was instrumental to the development of Art Nouveau in Belgium.

Hankar was very active, designing over fourteen private homes in the Art Nouveau and Japonist styles within twelve years and would later influence the artists of the Vienna Secession and the Darmstadt Artists' Colony in Germany.

While this poster was printed in multiple sizes and formats, this edition of 40 strikes on Japon paper from 1897 is the most desirable and extremely scarce edition. Japon paper allows inks to rest upon its surface rather than being absorbed by a more permeable paper stock. The rare, small format poster lithographs created at this time were printed using rich, dense, lead inks. Each color is brilliant, vibrant, and impossible to recreate with today's soy based inks.

Paper measures 8 3/8 x 11 1/2 inches. Very mild toning along edges and mild discoloration on paper surface. Inks are dense and bold; image will frame beautifully. This artwork is presented in archival rag mat and arrives accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

Notable museum collections containing this work include: Museum of Modern Art, New York City (large-format version) (125.1968)