Mattia Jona, Master Drawings and Prints, Japanese Prints - Piazzetta Guastalla 5, 20122 Milan, Italy, tel (+39) 02 8053315

Paul Jacoulet, le mandarin aux lunettes


Colour woodblock print, limited edition, 1950; Miles 106. Signed in pencil Paul Jacoulet, red artist's seal Mandarin Duck, stamps of the carver Maeda and of the printer Ogawa. Four editions according to Miles: 150 (fewer than 90 impressions), 250 (fewer than 40 impressions), 350 (fewer than 100 impressions), 500 (fewer than 20 impressions). This impression, from first edition, stamped on the verso 25/150. Printed with silver, gold and bronze mica. Pearl powder mica on glasses. Superb colour, fresh and unfaded; paper lightly toned on the verso, generally in very good condition. The full sheet measuring 475 x 364 mm. The print is exemplary for its technical sophistication. As Miles wrote: This print was prepared in the mid-thirties, a few rare proofs exist. Too expensive to print, the blocks waited until 1950……….The Mandarine's sleeve is printed in three shades of grey with urushi stripes, and silver metallics. Note the mica of the lenses, made by using crushed pink pearls. During this period Jacoulet was reaching the peak of his financial life, with increasing numbers of subscribers. He poured much of his profit into increasingly costly material. The impression presented here, never exposed to the light, allows to fully appreciate the ultimate richness of the print.

Paul Jacoulet’s family moved from their native France to Japan when Paul was around four years old and he was brought up in Tokyo. Jacoulet showed exceptional artistic talent even as an adolescent: he developed good skills for drawing, music and languages. At the age of eleven he began painting. After befriending a young boy from the island of Truk in 1929, Paul Jacoulet spent the next eight winters in the South Pacific. He took many of the subjects for his works from the South Sea, but also from travels to Korea or Manchuria and from Japan of course. Around 1931, Jacoulet began to work with Shizuya Fujikake learning the craft of woodblock printmaking.
In 1934, Jacoulet produced his first woodblock print. The technical requirements on craftsmanship for a print were so high that he could cooperate only with the very best engravers and printers. Jacoulet used all the known deluxe features like embossing, lacquers, micas or metal pigments and he experimented with new techniques like powdered semi-precious stones. For most of his life Paul Jacoulet was his own publisher, selling his prints not through shops, but by subscription, in limited edition. Paul Jacoulet continued to sell prints during the early war years, though his foreign clientèle were melting away. The war drove him from Tokyo to the mountain resort of Karuizawa where he lived for the rest of his life. He continued to produce prints up until the time of his death. See Richard Miles, The Prints of Paul Jacoulet: A Complete Illustrated Catalog, London, 1982.

price: 2.150,00 euros

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