Charles Maurin

Original Prints: Lithographs, Etchings


Although formally trained in the Academie Julian and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris (which he rarely attended), and a regularly exhibited in the renowned Salon des Artistes Français, Charles Maurin (1856 - 1914) was also  quite an eccentric personage: a libertarian anarchist who associated regularly with Jean Grave's journal Les Temps Nouveaux, along with Pissarro and Signac, and who was a close friend of Toulouse-Lautrec's, reciprocally etching each other's portrait.

Charles Maurin was also an exceedingly innovative printmaker who developed new color techniques based on traditional etching, aquatint, and drypoint.  More specifically, he perfected color soft-ground etching, invented a sugar-based etching process on copper or zinc, and made prints "au vaporisateur", a spray technique that inspired Toulouse-Lautrec's brush and spatter lithographs. 

He specialized in representing intimist interiors, often family scenes of mothers and children bathing, as well as female nudes, which were notably admired by Degas.

Charles Maurin, Devant la Glace, soft-ground etching, ca. 1896-1900

Devant la Glace (also called Nu de Dos, se coiffant, face à un Miroir,
or, as annotated on the present impression, Femme à sa Toilette

Before the Looking-glass (also called Nude from Behind, combing her Hair, in front of a Mirror),
or, as annotated on the present impression, Woman at her Toilet

Fréchuret 565*

Soft-ground etching, circa 1896-1900 (?), an early undescribed state, signed by the artist lower right, with a prestigious provenance from the Alfred Barrion collection (Lugt 76)

A splendid working proof impression of this rare color print, representing Maurin's research on novel printmaking techniques, as well as one of his most favorite intimist subjects.


*  Maurice Fréchuret, L'œuvre de Charles Maurin : un symbolisme du réel, thèse, Université Lyon II, 2 vol., Lyon 1986.
    He also wrote an exhibition catalogue that was published by the Musée Crozatier, Le Puy-en-Velay in 2006 : Charles Maurin : un symboliste du réel.