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Artist: Fernand Toussaint Belgian (1873-1955)

Plate: PL. 80

Title: Le Sillon

Description: Condition A. Original lithograph from "Les Maitre de L'Affiches" series.
Printed by Imprimerie Chaix, Paris, 1897.
Presented in 16 x 20 in. acid free, archival museum mat, with framing labels. Ready to frame. Shipped boxed flat via Fedex.
Certificate of Authenticity.
See our Terms of Sale
Maitre Sheet Size:11 3/8 in x 15 3/4 in
 29 cm x 40 cm
Price: $550.00 USD

Full size sold for $ 16,500 US
Poster Auctions International NY. Nov 1993.

"This magnificent poster, an artistic and lithographic tour de force, was Toussaint's first. It publicizes the magazine of 'Le Sillon' one of many artists' groups that bred in rich cultural ferment of 1890s Brussels. 'Sillon' means furrow, to make one's own way in the world, which was the aim of this group. Thus Toussaint depicts an allegory of the harvest of grain that will spring from his work. Credit for capturing the fine colour nuances of this delicious watercolour in soft tones, is shared by Toussaint's friend, O. de Rycker, the master lithographer (printer) of Brussels.
(Rennert, PAI-XVII, 525)

At the turn of the century Brussels was a major center of artistic creativity. Powerful artistic movements and groups, such as Libre Esthetique, Pour l'Art and Le Sillon, all of whom attracted avant garde artists from all over Europe, were based there.Amongst them, Le Sillon (the furrow) was an artistic circle of decorative realists. Toussaint, who was primarily a painter, created his first poster for the group and instantly achieved fame in the field. It is easy to see why. The result is a stunning and flamboyant symbolist poster, marvelously executed in warm, soft tones, with gently, though not over exaggerated, Art Nouveau curls. The simple image of a beatific woman, gently pulling aside some flowers which she is about to cut with her scythe, is fertile with meaning. Symbolically it depicts the artist making his own way, "his determination to express himself according to his convictions", it can also be seen as the members of Le Sillon clearing away the old style of art in preparation for the new style they are about to sow. The following year Toussaint created a poster for the Café Jacqmotte in the same style, and together these two masterpieces have become his legacy. (Swann, Sale 1945, 111)

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