AUGUSTE LOUIS LEPÈRE (Paris 1849 - 1918 Domme)
Pastel on board
12 ½ × 15 ½ inches (31.8 × 39.4 cm)
Signed lower right
Auguste Lepère was one of the most innovative color printmakers working in France at the end of the 19th century. He was apprenticed to the English wood engraver Joseph Burn-Smeeton (1840-1880) at the age of thirteen. While regularly submitting paintings to the Paris salons, Lepère worked for nearly thirty years as an illustrator for the popular journals of the day. Much like his friend Félix Bracquemand, the volume of his work in this domain is extraordinary. He, alone, made over one thousand wood engravings. Lepére’s work in color printmaking, beginning in the 1890s, influenced such artists as Théophile Steinlen, Félicien Rops, and Camille Pissarro. Lepère was “rediscovered” in an important exhibition organized by Richard Field for the Yale University Art Gallery in 1984. A retrospective exhibition concentrating on his paintings and pastels was mounted by the musées de Vendée in 1988.