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


“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)

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.

While this poster was printed in multiple sizes and formats, this 1896 edition of 25 strikes on Japon paper 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. This world-class example of lithography captures superior resolution and color-richness to that of its large-format counterpart.

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.