Henri Rochefort

Artist: Sem (Georges Goursat) French (1863-1934)

Title: Henri Rochefort

Plate: sem.05

Description: Condition A
Original Pochoir (Hand coloured) lithograph from "Celebrites Contemporaines et la Benedictine", by Sem.
Printed by Devambez, Paris ca.1900. 
Signed in the plate lower left.

French Text by Henri Rochefortat bottom reads, "When Cyrano recieved a Murderous Blow to save him, he needed a glass of Benedictine. Coqueline"

Presented in 16 x 20 in. acid free, archival museum mat, with framing labels. Ready to frame. Shipped boxed flat. 
Certificate of Authenticity.

Sheet Size: 6 1/4 in x 9 1/2in 16 cm x 24.5 cm

Price: $100.00


Victor-Henri Rochefort, Marquis de Rochefort-Lucay (French 1831-1913) French journalist and politician. The editor of Le Figaro in 1863, he also founded and edited the bitterly anti-imperial journals La Lanterne (1868) and La Marseillaise (1869). After the Franco-Prussian War he founded Le Mot d’ordre (1871), supported the Commune of Paris, and was consequently sent (1873) to the penal colony of New Caledonia. He soon escaped and revived La Lanterne in Geneva, Switzerland. After the general amnesty of 1880 he returned to Paris and started L’Intransigeant. Twice elected a deputy, Rochefort, in a political switch from the extreme left to the extreme right, became an ardent supporter of Georges Boulanger and was forced to flee France. Tried in absentia, he remained in exile from 1889 to 1895. Later, Rochefort’s extreme nationalism led him to take a violent stand against Alfred Dreyfus in the Dreyfus Affair. (The Columbia Encyclopedia)


"I would like . . . to group in a series of albums all the celebrities of the day, only the most illustrious and famous names. But to bring together so many important people, so occupied and not easily mobilized, I feared that my modest talent was not a sufficient enough attraction . . . So, to convince them, I had the idea to offer to them a glass of famous Benedictine . . . And, indeed, all answered my invitation with a unified eagerness as if I was flattering them." Sem


"So begins the introduction to Sem's eight-lithograph collection of celebrities praising the virtues of the liqueur, including famed aviator, Santos-Dumont, composer Massenet and actor Albert Brasseur. The career of caricaturist Sem started modestly enough in his home town of Perigueux where he published his first collection of local celebrities' portraits in 1895. Only after doing the same for Bordeaux in 1897 and Marseilles in 1898 did he venture to Paris where he charmed the city folk with his talent. Hardly anyone of note escaped being captured for posterity." (Rennert, PAI-XXVI, 557)




"In 1863, Alexandre Le Grand, a distant relation of the Fécamp notable, came across the book of spells by chance and discovered the secret recipe. Straight away, he decided to decipher it in order to re-create this mysterious liqueur. His tenacity enabled him eventually to do so. He modernised the recipe and called it "Benedictine". The liqueur soon became extremely popular: by 1873, production had reached almost 150,000 bottles a year. In light of this success, Alexandre Le Grand decided to set up the Benedictine SA company in June 1876, with capital of 2,200,000 francs. In 1882, Alexandre Le Grand decided to have a unique building built in Fécamp to house the distillery: a Palace-Museum. It is here, in this extraordinary place, that the famous liqueur is still made today." (Benedictine.fr)


Pochoir, French for stencil, defines a technique of print making popular in France in the early 1900s. It is a labor intensive process of applying brilliant color by hand using a series of cutout stencils. Each plate is an original print using up to thirty stencils in one image. All are hand colored and most are signed in the plate by the illustrator.