Pair of chromolithograph still lifes of arrangements of spring flowers. Spring Favorites shows yellow, white and purple pansies piled on a curling sheet of white paper, as if they have just been unwrapped. Early Visitors depicts three bees attracted to apple blossoms and lush pink peonies resting on a table. Indeed, de Longpré frequently included bees in his compositions. These prints were published as art supplements distributed by the Chicago Tribune newspaper. Paul de Longpré and other artists made such works for several major newspapers, which offered them as premiums for a small subscription fee.
Paul de Longpré (also spelled “Delongpre”) was an American artist specializing in floral paintings. Born to a family of artists near Lyon, France, at age 12 he was at work at the family trade of painting floral designs for textiles produced in the mills of Lyon, then a center for the silk industry. He eventually came to Paris and became a popular painter of flowers, especially roses, and had chromolithographs after his work published in horticultural periodicals. He emigrated to New York City in 1890 and is known to have had an exhibition of mostly floral paintings in 1896. In 1898, he relocated to Los Angeles, where he quickly developed a clientele for his work, including the widow of the original developer of Hollywood, from whom he purchased a parcel of land with three of his paintings. There he built a mansion and three-acre garden with over 3,000 rose bushes that became Hollywood’s first tourist attraction. He spent the rest of his life there, continuing to paint his characteristically realist paintings of flowers and roses, often from his own garden, earning him the nickname “Le Roi de Fleurs” (the King of Flowers). Though the house was torn down a few years after his death, one of the nearby streets is named De Longpre Avenue after him. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has two of his watercolors in their collection.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual light overall toning and wear.
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“Paul de Longpré.” Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 1997-2002. http://collectionsonline.lacma.org/mwebcgi/mweb.exe?request=browse&dept=prints
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“Paul Delongpre.” Union List of Artists Names Online Full Record Display. http://www.getty.edu/vow/ULANFullDisplay?find=de+longpre&role=&nation=&
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