A La Poupee

An odd title. It is a type of print making which is not that popular due to the amount of time and effort required to produce just one print. #Alapoupee comes from the French and is translated ‘with a doll’. It refers to the wad of fabric (ball shaped) used to apply the coloured inks to the copperplate. A new wad is used for each colour and only one pressing is achieved from the inking.

I have very few of this type of print in my collection and the best one is this still-life.

As you can see the colours are superb but as with most prints done in this manor – it is still hand-finished. I do not know who this print is by but it has a couple of clues as to when and who. Firstly, it has a watermark as well as a small monogram in the bottom right corner. I have yet to find the watermark in any records. Nor have I deciphered the monogram.

Even so, one can see the use of different coloured inks from the following images. This application of various colours took time since one wished to avoid the blending or blurring of colours while applying as well as when wiping excess ink from the plate. Not an easy task. Usually only five or six colours or less were used. Here, we have red, blue, green, yellow, black and brown used in this print. One can also see the hand-finishing in the application of further colour to enhance the printed image. This type of print was made popular by #JohanTeyler (1648-1709). Téyler, himself, was not an artist but a mathematician. He did own the patent for the multi-colour printing technique he used and most likely set up a publishing house which employed engravers to produce the plates and prints.

I will continue to research this print but I do hope you enjoy just looking at it. It is a superb piece and displays huge talent and technique.

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