Saturday, 23 March 2013

Marcel Bloch - Boudoir Art

Typical composition - "The Goodnight Kiss" 1924 - Link

The work of Marcel Bloch was recently brought to my attention by a colleague in the trade, who like us specialise in French Art Deco Boudoir style original prints and picture. They had for sale a pair of etchings in original frames, that caught my eye !! not quite my usual boudoir style but worth a little bit of research.

 These two were for sale on eBay.

Marcel Bloch (born 1882 or 84) was a French artist, printmaker, illustrator and commercial artist working in the inter-war years. His subjects are typically Regency Beau courting a pretty maiden in a crinoline skirt or dancing couples, all with a slightly theatrical theme.

Menu covers dated 1935

From the early age of 15 Marcel worked in his father's shop where he encountered Parisian ladies in all their beauty. This seems to have developed into an infatuation with the beauty of the high fashion of the belle epoque, spending much time sketching their ladies. Soon he was studying at the School of Decorative Art in  Paris, before establishing his first studio in Faubourg du-Temple near Montmartre.

pencil signature found on etchings.

Marcel became an established artist  and was soon accepted as a member of the Artistes Francais, the Humorists and the Independents societies, exhibiting The Salon of Independent Artists from 1909 and at the French Artists Salon in 1921. His work can be found in WWI propaganda illustrations, postcards, as well as magazines sucha s, Le Rire, Fantasio and La Gazette du Franc, as well as a poster for the Louvre.

postcards from the mid 1920's

Typically these works will be found with a pencil signature of "Marcel Bloch" and full copyright information such as "Publie par l'Estampe Moderne 14 rue de Richelieu Paris 1924" and/or "Copyright 1924 by Ste Ame l'Estampe Moderne Paris", so look for the embossed EM monogram in the borders.


He was a multi-talented artist, prolific both as a printmaker and as a painter. Working in oil in  an identical style to the published works on paper. The oil on canvas (above right) is for sale at www.moinat.net. Perhaps this a sketch as it looks rushed and unfinished, if slightly naive  never the less still very decorative and appealing.


A series of Patriotic postcards from the 1940's ??

These works are funny, not serious, just images to be enjoyed. His etchings are printed by publishers such as l'Estampe Moderne Paris, a name you find on other Boudoir art of the highest quality. Although his postcards, menus, magazine and book illustrations were ephemeral commercial art, it is these works that are easy to find whilst the etchings are quite scare - time to get out their and find more !!

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