Plan of the Old Walls of Paris
Clément-Serveau and Roger Lacourière, 1937

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Map of Paris Walls
Detail of Inscription
Detail of Inscription
Clément-Serveau (1886-1972) (after)
Roger Lacourière (d. 1966) and Clément-Serveau (engravers)
Plan des Anciennes Enceintes de Paris
[Plan of the Old Walls of Paris]
Roger Lacourière, Paris: 1937
Color-printed aquatint and engraving
Signed lower right: Serveau-Lacourière
Numbered lower left: 84/150
Watermarked Arches paper
18.75 x 24 inches, platemark
22.5 x 30 inches, overall
Sold, please inquire as to the availability of similar items.

Limited edition pictorial historical map of Paris, showing the location and contours of the ancient fortification walls, the River Seine, streets and avenues, and important buildings, as well as showing the Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes outside the city center. This map was published in an edition of 150 by Roger Lacourière, one of the leading French printmakers of the 20th century. The central map is surrounded by illustrations in an Art Deco style depicting allegorical figures such as representations of the four winds, as well as figures representing the city's past, such as a knight on horseback, petitioners before an enthroned king, and a coach drawn by four white horses. A large, star-shaped compass rose is in the upper left corner, and in the upper right corner is a cartouche flanked by a nude male and a nude female figure, each balancing a basket of fruit and flora on their head.

The years listed above the title in the cartouche refer to the dates when city walls were built, beginning with 1180-1210, when King Philippe Auguste first surrounded Paris with walls, and ending with 1841-1845, when a new surrounding wall was built (later destroyed). There is a further explanation of this history in the text in the lower left portion.

Clément-Serveau was a French painter and engraver, who spent his life in Paris. He studied at the art academies of the School of Decorative Arts and School of Beaux-Arts. He first exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in 1905. In 1913, he became director of the fresco atelier at the School of Beaux-Arts. Clément-Serveau won first prize at the Salon des Artistes Françaises in 1929 and by the mid-1930s he was exhibiting regularly abroad in North America and Europe as well as in France. He also organized the Petis Palais exposition of "Artists of the Times" in 1935. He executed a series of major murals, including La France Touristique for the tourism pavillion of the Universal Exposition in 1937, Plan des Anciennes Enceintes de Paris at the Musée Carnavalet in Paris (upon which the offered map is apparently based), and frescoes and other decorations for a Franciscan chapel. He also engraved several denominations of paper money for the Bank of France, as well as designing currency for other nations. Meanwhile, he regularly contributed illustrations to magazines and books, including the novels of Colette, Duhamel, Giraudoux, Mauriac and others. For his artistic achievements, Clément-Serveau was made a chevalier of the French Legion of Honor. Today his works are in the collections of numerous museums in France and abroad including the French Museum of Modern Art.

Roger Lacourière was a master printmaker, a key figure in 20th century French etching and engraving, who worked with major artists of his day, including Picasso, Matisse, Rouault and Dali. Beginning in 1934 and continuing into the 1960s, he collaborated with Picasso on many of his major prints, including his series of minotaurs and of portraits of Dora Maar and The Vollard Suite, a group of 100 prints.

Inscription lower left: "Gravure originale de Roger Lacourière et Clément Serveau Paris 37."

References:

Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 2, pp. 536-537 (Clément-Serveau).

"Master of the Burin: The Book Illustrations of John Buckland Wright: Cabinet 06." Special Collections, Library, University of Otago, New Zealand. http://www.library.otago.ac.nz/exhibitions/jbw/cabinet06.html (6 February 2007).

"Pablo Picasso, Artist Biography." Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. 2006. http://search2.famsf.org:8080/mygallery/view.shtml?record=149 (6 February 2007).

"Paris Through the Ages: Medieval Paris."Paris Info. http://www.parisinfo.com/rub5942.html&id_article=6380 (6 February 2007).