Friday, 29 May 2015

Marguerite Callet-Carcano: Minette la Noire

Marguerite Callet-Carcano

Milano (It.) 1878 - ?

Illustrator, printmaker, bookplate artist. 

Resuming after a break in blogging (there is more to life) about forgotten and obscured artists-printmakers I'ld like to share my recent acquaintance with Marguerite Callet-Carcano. Little is to be found about this artist mainly mentioned as a Belgian (Brussels) books illustrator and bookplate designer. 

I found these wonderful cat prints, designed for a 1941 book "Minette la Noire" (Blacky) by Belgian author, poet and painter: Maurice Jean Lefebvre (1873-1954). A proof of the above print is known but finding a copy of the actual book was without result so far. It shows the artist decided to change, mirror, the original design of the sleeping cat print.

Other then some examples of her bookplates and book illustrations I couldn't  much to shine any light on her career or her life. 

Another thing (a coincidence ?) is that an other Maurice Lefebre (1863-1917) happened to be a quite famous playwright for the entertainment establishment "le Chat Noir" in Montmartre Paris, immortalized by Theophile Steinlen (1859-1923) 1898 poster design.

After some genealogical and historical research and deduction my guess is she might have been the grand-daughter of this couple: Comte (count) Pierre Carcano, an officier in the Navy to his Royal Majesty the King of Sardaigne (King Victor Emanuel II, later King of Italy). Pierre Carcano married 15-01-1857 in Turin (It.) to Marguerite Franchet-D'Esperey (born 1831).

Marguerite Carcano-Franchet-D'Esperey died 15-07-1859, 26 years of age only two years after her marriage and, possibly at or shortly after giving birth to her granddaughters father who is not known by name. I found these genealogical data in a recent Ebay auction offering the official 19th century family announcements. She is possibly related to Louis Franchet-D'Esperey (1856-1942) a famous WW1 French army general.    


And then there is: Fillipo (Phillipo) Carcano (Milano 1840-1914). He was an Italian painter and in his time quite famous. He was reviewed in the Studio Magazine in 1913. I suppose he is in some way related to Marguerite.

I hope now Marguerite is represented with this entry in the Internet all who stumble over this humble attribution and may have further knowledge about this artist and/or her family please send me details for furthering and sharing. 

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