Charles-Marie DULAC, ‘Paysage #7’, 1893, Tom Craig Fine Art

The deeply spiritual Symbolist landscapes of Charles Dulac are some of the most emotive evocations of landscape to have been created in nineteenth-century colour lithography. Designed directly on the stones or zinc plates, these poetic images idealise nature without deforming it, reflecting the divine in landscape, to create a mystical experience unique to Charles Dulac’s works.

All of Charles Dulac’s major original lithographs were designed within a period of only about three years, towards the end of the artist’s tragically short life. Born in Paris, Charles Dulac had been trained in decorative painting and as a scene painter for theatre and opera before turning to fine art. Around 1890 he fell ill with lead poisoning as a result of years spent in industrial studios working with lead-white pigment. The illness proved terminal and Charles Dulac died in 1898, at the age of 33.

It was through the medium of colour lithography that Charles Dulac discovered his true genius. He saw his works in lithography as continuous experiments in the search for the fleeting emotions of nature, expressing the spiritual aspects of landscape. Charles Dulac printed each of his lithographs in carefully chosen schemes of delicate, muted colours, concentrating upon mood rather than detail. Eloquent and mysterious, these images take us through a series of emotions ranging from the uplifting and the beautiful to the sombre and the melancholy.

Charles Marie Dulac issued only two major series of prints during his short life; the first, Suite de Paysages (1892/3), contained eight original lithographs and zincographs; the second, Le Cantique des Creatures of 1894, contained a further nine subjects and only three of his final series Credo, designed later the same year, were completed. For both of his published series, only a specific number of impressions were printed in each colour scheme, from each plate or stone, producing a total of 100 numbered impressions of each image. The stones or zinc plates were destroyed immediately after the first and only edition was printed.

Signature: Signed and numbered in pencil, lower right

About Charles-Marie DULAC

French, 1865-1898, Paris, France

Fair History on Artsy

Armstrong Fine Art at IFPDA Print Fair 2015