Alexandre Lunois (1863 - 1916)

A Roman bath. Litho-tint. 1898 (11 x 15 cm.)

An illustration in Théophile Gautiers “Fortunio” from an exclusive limited to 125 copies bibliophile 1898 edition. What better picture to show in my Nymphaeum collection ? 

Lunois who perfected lithographic colour printmaking besides illustrating bibliophile book editions also created some very famous posters. His iconic “Buveuse d’Absinth” is reminding of one of my most astonishing discoveries: some very rare Paris prints by Hamburg printmaker Agnes von Bülow-Salomons. She also created a “buzeuse”. 

Anyway, having a unique print by Lunois falls besides my scope of collecting. and financial possibilities. This rare but nevertheless affordable example of highest quality printmaking was a nice compromise for the budget collector: Champagne taste but Pepsi budget.    

Only recently I found one of his “auto-lithographs”: “La Sevillana”.  Its was published in 1897 in the British “the Studio” 

Lunois created his lithotint “La Buveuse d’Absinth” in 1894. Before him Edgar Degas in 1876 painted his Absinth drinking woman and in 1890 Albert Emanuel Bertrand created his print. Although he was a much respected Paris printmaker almost nothing about his life is known. In 1899 Henri Evenepoel saw and created his Absinth drinking lady. It is tempting to go looking for or suggest resemblances but I do know Agnes Salomon was actually in Paris in 1902. Besides: the lady in Agnes’ scene is obviously not drinking absinth. This surprising print was found in the private estate of printmaker Marie Wippermann who was acquainted with Agnes in Paris. 

These examples of litho-tint prints by Lunois are a wonderful representation of his artistic printmaking work.