Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Goddesses and Putti, Venus and Cupid : Any idea ?

I know, this print (22 x 22 cm.) is nothing like the early XXth century (German) color woodblock prints this Blog is more or less build around. But please let me know what you make of this woodblock (it really is !) print. It emerged from a stack of material from all sorts and periods deriving from all quarters of the compass. And I fell in love instantly (this happens a lot lately, it might have to do with an aging romantic). 

I'm not sure wether the colors are block-printed, or colored by hand, but it has a wonderful pallet of exquisitely warm, glowing and almost sensual "setting sun" earth colors. The laziness and sensuality of the moment is screaming of the paper but I have no idea what the artist tries to transmit to us. It's obviously "Venus, Company and Putti" (her son Cupid). There's no signature or other marking leading to an artist. 

It could be a 17th or 18th century composition by Pieter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), compare also the band around the left upper arm, 

Jan Brueghel the Elder and Workshop of Peter Paul Rubens - Nymphs Filling the Cornucopia

but  Henri Matisse (1869-1954) could also have had a hand in it. And what about 

Aristide Maillol (1861-1944) ?

Did you know he created some exquisite woodcuts ("gravure a bois") too ?

Please send any comment or suggestion. 

All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only.


  1. I think you might be in the right country. It's French and probably 1920s but certainly isn't Matisse (you should be so lucky). It looks like some kind of woodblock and, as you say, hand-coloured. But it could be Czech etc.

    1. Not knowing is also allowing to cherish the thought .........
      Thanks !