"Alphonse Daudet" is a lithograph, printed chine colle, in 1893 by French Symbolist printmaker Eugene Carriere (1849-1906). The image measures 15-5/8 x 12 inches. It is pencil signed and dedicated "a M. Manchon avec le souvenir affectueux" on the support sheet. The lithograph was published by the L'Estampe Originale in an edition of 100 and was printed on a sheet of thin white "China paper" which is collaged to a heavier antique-white wove support paper that measures 25-1/2 x 18-1/2 inches. A reference for this image is Delteil 16.
This mysterious portrait is of French novelist Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897). Like his contemporary, Odilon Redon, Carriere coaxed the subject's image out of the dark, similar to a mezzotint. Drawing, scratching, and scraping the stone, he worked from dark to light, attempting to capture the essence of Daudet.
Carriere’s lithographic technique was unique in printmaking and has inspired generations of printmakers since. This work is printed on a thin Asian paper in order to capture all the subtlety in the drawing and then is glued to a heavier support sheet to protect it from damage while being handled.
This proof is from the first state and is dedicated by Carriere to M. Manchon, probably French Victorian printmaker Gaston Albert Manchon (1855-1951), it translates to "to Mr. Manchon with fond memories."
Carriere was born in Gournay-sur-Marne, France on January 6, 1849. He trained at L’ecole Municipale de Dessin in Strasbourg and later in the studio of Alexandre Cabanl at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He was an important figure in the Symbolist movement, and was associated with writers Verlaine, Mallarme, and Charles Morice. Carriere and his contemporaries hailed the dawn of the fin de siecle. Carriere greatly admired Auguste Rodin's sculpture, drawing inspiration in the singularity of color as a means of transporting the figure to the forefront and revealing what he considered the most essential component in a subject: emotion.