The John Ringling Library : Rare Paul Grandhomme Portfolio

Dessins applicable à l’email, aux vitraux, aux arts ceramiques, etc. par Grandhomme, peintre-émailleur.

Published:  Paris: A. Calavas, 1884
Contains 12 illustrated plates
Bequest of John Ringling, 1936

Diana The Huntress
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Dessins applicable à l’email, aux vitraux, aux arts ceramiques, etc. par Grandhomme, peintre-émailleur

Dessins applicable à l’email, aux vitraux, aux arts ceramiques, etc. par Grandhomme, peintre-émailleur is part of the John Ringling library collection at The Ringling Art Library, and the second oversized portfolio from the collection to be digitized.  According to WorldCat, The Ringling Art Library has the only cataloged copy. Dessins applicable à l’email, aux vitraux, aux arts ceramiques, etc. par Grandhomme, peintre-émailleur has recently had conservation work to the plates and portfolios.  The portfolio contains 12 illustrations applicable to enamel, stained glass, and ceramic arts by Paul Victor Grandhomme.  Paul Grandhomme (1851 – 1944) is most widely recognized for his skill as a French enamel painter in the late 19th and early 20th century.  Among his talents include Grandhomme’s tender depiction of mythological subjects and portraiture (Chishom, 367).

Enamel has a similar composition as glass when fused to metal, such as copper, through a heating process at high temperatures.  Enamel returned to fashion in the latter half of the 19th century pulling from medieval and Renaissance enamel processes (The New International Encyclopædia, 716).  In correlation to enamel returning to fashion, Renaissance Revival decorative arts also returned to fashion in Paris post-1840 (Campell, 265).  Grandhomme worked primarily in the Limoges School Revival manner following the Limoges painterly stylization of enamel portraiture originating in the Renaissance (Speel, 69).

Pierre Calmettes, artist/writer, provides a compelling description of Paul Grandhomme’s creative process within his 1903 article “La Pognée:  a new artistic society in Paris.” Grandhomme’s small Parisian flat was his workshop where he utilized the dining room area as his primary work space and the kitchen furnaces for baking the enamel.

“Preparing his pieces by means of drawings and sculpture, M. Grandhomme, in executing, employs a process which is all his own, his semi-transparent enamels giving a solidity of modeling to the flesh of his figures which cannot be obtained by the old methods of using translucent enamels (Calmettes, 538).”

Paul Grandhomme collaborated with several notable metalsmiths and enamellers including Alphonse Fouquet, Lucien Falize, Alfred Garnier, Jules Brateau, and Gustave Moreau.  Examples of completed collaborations are housed in institutions such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Musée d’Orsay (Paris), and Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris).

If you would like to explore additional images of completed work by Paul Grandhomme:
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Bibliography

Dessins applicable à l’email, aux vitraux, aux arts ceramiques, etc. par Grandhomme, peintre-émailleur.  Paris:  A. Calavas, 1884.

Calmettes, Pierre.  “La Pognée:  a new artistic society in Paris.” The Architectural Record:  A Monthly Magazine of Architecture and the Allied Arts and Crafts.  Vol. 13.  New York:  The Architectural Record Co., 1903.

Campbell, Gordon ed.  The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts. Vol 2, p. 265 New York, N.Y. : Oxford University Press, 2006.

Chishom, Hugh.  The Encyclopædia Britannica:  A dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information. Vol 9: Edwardes to Evangelical Association, p. 367. New York:  The Encyclopædia Britannica Company, 1910.

Fisher, Alexander.  “Portraits in Enamel.” The International Studio:  An Illustrated Magazine of Fine and Applied Art.  Vol 37. New York: New York Offices of the International Studio, 1909.

Speel, Erika.  Dictionary of Enamelling:  History and Techniques.  Brookfield, Vt. : Ashgate Publishing Limited, 1998.

Digitization of Dessins applicable à l’email, aux vitraux, aux arts ceramiques, etc. par Grandhomme, peintre-émailleur and correlating research has been completed by Ringling Art Library summer intern, Sarah Burris.

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