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L'Estampe moderne (1897-1899)

In the 1890s various fascicles of original prints were issued by French publishers.
- "L’épreuve" was edited by Maurice Dumont and appeared monthly between December 1894 and December 1895
- "Les Maitres de l'Affiche" series was offered as a subscription series to collectors from1895-1900.
- "L’estampe originale" was a quarterly edited by André Marty between 1893 and 1895
- the original "L’estampe moderne" was published in five folios between November 1895 and March 1896 edited by Lo˙s Delteil
- the second "L’estampe moderne" was published monthly between May 1897 and April 1899 as a series of 24 monthly fascicles, each of 4 original lithographs, priced at 3 francs 50 centimes and printed by Imprimerie Champenois of Paris. Many accomplished European Art Nouveau painters contributed works to this publication.

The Publication
"L'Estampe moderne" was originally published in a series of 24 monthly parts, each with four lithographs. Four extra lithographs ("planches de prime") were offered by the publisher as an incentive to prospective subscribers. The aim was to promote the art of printmaking by commissioning images from noted Art Nouveau artists, such as Alphonse Mucha, Louis Rhead, Marcel-Lenoir, Henri Boutet, Henri Fantin-Latour, Edward Burne-Jones and Théophile Steinlen.

A very high quality of paper was used. This explains why the quality of the printing, in the "L'Estampe Moderne".

The publication was edited by Charles Masson and H. Piazza. Each issue came in a paper cover bearing an original lithograph by Alphonse Mucha.
The publisher offered two extra lithographs a year, the “planches de prime”, as an incentive to prospective subscribers.
Each print has in the bottom right margin the blind embossed publishers stamp of a woman's head in a circle (Lugt 2790).
Most of the plates were original lithographed prints, but some were reproductions made by photolithography from drawings (which did not prevent the publisher describing the plates as original prints).

The series was published in 24 monthly parts, each containing four prints, over two years between May 1897 and April 1899 (a total of 96 plates, to which were added four supplementary plates for subscribers to bring the total to 100).

Further reading :
Janine Bailly-Herzberg, 'Dictionnaire de l'Estampe en France 1830-1950', Paris 1985, pp.354-5 for a list of the plates.

Some samples of prints from "L'Estampes Moderne"

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