Prang's Easter by Louis Rhead, Japon lithograph, 1897


“The origin of the French term “Art Nouveau” is based in the name of a Parisian gallery which opened on December 26, 1895 called Maison de l’Art Nouveau (House of New Art), or more commonly L’Art Nouveau Bing, in honor of the proprietor, Siegfried Bing.”

“America was quick to reveal strong Art Nouveau voices; it was Louis Comfort Tiffany who encouraged Bing to open his salon, and artists Will Bradley and Ethel Reed exhibited a Japonist simplicity that presented a strong, refined take on the Art Nouveau ideal. Louis Rhead was born in England but emigrated to the United States in 1883 at the age of 24, and quickly found himself celebrated both in the United States and in France, exhibiting his designs in the prestigious Salon des Cent in Paris in 1897.”
-Quoted from Flowering Lines: Rare Art Nouveau Graphics 1883-1911 by Thomas Negovan (2017)

Stone lithograph of Louis Rhead’s Prang’s Easter Publications, published in 1897 by Imprimerie Chaix, the printing house known for publishing the works of Belle Epoque master Jules Chéret. This example was printed with a plate of shimmering gold ink. 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. While a much larger edition of Prang’s Easter Publications was created on regular paper, this example comes from the extremely scarce edition of 25 strikes on Imperial Japon paper, a marbled stock which allows inks to rest upon its surface rather than being absorbed by a more permeable paper. 

Paper measures 8 5/16 x 12 5/16 inches. Very mild toning along edges and mild discoloration on paper surface. Inks are dense and bold, will frame beautifully. This artwork is presented in an archival rag mat and arrives accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

Notable museum collections containing this work include: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City (medium-format version) (1984.1202.146)

Notable museum collections featuring works by John Louis Rhead include: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; The Albertina Graphic Art Databank, Vienna; and more.