Sunday, September 18, 2016

Dinner Invitation Prints for the Société des Amis de l'Art Japonais

The Société des Amis de l'Art Japonais was founded by the art dealer Siegfried Bing and the noted art collector Charles Gillot in 1892.  The Society's "friends" that first year included the jeweler Henri Vever, art critics Edmond de Goncourt and Théodore Duret, the dealer Tadamasa Hayashi, collectors Georges de Bellio, Alexis Rouart, and Raymond Koechlin, and Japanophile artists such as Félix Régamey, Prosper-Alphonse Isaac, Michael Manzi, and Luigi Chialiva.  Dr. Gabriel-Auguste Ancelet, brother-in-law of Charles Gillot, was the group's secretary and treasurer.

Siegfried Bing (1899)

The membership would gather roughly eight times a year for a dinner meeting where its members would bond over their mutual interest in Japanese art and culture.  No doubt Japanese-theme dinner invitations were created for many of those dinners in the group's formative years.  However, from April 1906 to June 1914, a tradition of creating hand-printed invitations by one of the Society's members on a rotating basis was established, the majority of which were woodblock printed in the Japanese manner.  Other invitations were created in the form of etchings, aquatints, and gypsographs, in addition to the occasional photomechanical print.  These prints were in very small quantities and today are rare collector's items.

Charles Gillot (unknown date)

At least seventeen different artists designed these invitations, with the lion's share being created by Jules Chadel, Prosper-Alphonse Isaac, and Pierre Roche.  Some of the invitations were recreations of ukiyo-e print designs, most of which were printed (and likely carved) by Isaac.  Isaac also printed certain of the woodblock prints that were designed by other artists.

Thank you card (1912) from an unknown member of des Amis de l'Art Japonais
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(watercolor)

As one might expect, these diner invitations often featured Japanese landscapes, figures, and motifs.  Animals, flowers, and still lifes were also favored subjects.  In more than a few cases, art nouveau principles tend to predominate, which should not be particularly surprising given the years in question and the stamp that the recently-deceased Bing would have left on the group.  The Société des Amis de l'Art Japonais would resume after the Great War and continue on through the Twenties, but its influence clearly peaked during during the Edwardian era.

The following are the Society's dinner invitations in chronological order:

Invitation for the April 28, 1906 Meeting by Prosper-Alphonse Issac
Courtesy of Les Arts décoratifs, Maciet
(color woodblock print)

[Marmite et petite serviette japonaise] by Prosper-Alphonse Issac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Note: I have not been able to locate an image of the invitation used for the May 1906 meeting.

Invitation for the June 26, 1906 Meeting by Prosper-Alphonse Issac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the November 28, 1906 Meeting by Unknown
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(monochrome etching)

Invitation for the December 27, 1906 Meeting by Jean François Aubertin
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the January 25, 1907 Meeting by Henri Rivière
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the February 23, 1907 Meeting by Maurice Feuillet
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color photomechanical print with gouache highlights)

Invitation for the March 25, 1907 Meeting by Sigisbert Christién Bosch-Reitz
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Note: This print was made in Japan.  For more information about Bosch-Reitz and this print design, see my earlier article on Bosch-Reitz.

Invitation for the April 23, 1907 Meeting by Adolphe Giraldon
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the May 29, 1907 Meeting by Utagawa Hiroshige
Possibly carved and printed by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the June 20, 1907 Meeting by Henri Saladin
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color photomechanical print)

Invitation for the November 18, 1907 Meeting
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(facsimile reproduction of an Invitation for the March 12, 1892  and April 9, 1892 Meetings)

Invitation for the December 17, 1907 Meeting by Prosper-Alphonse Issac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the January 15, 1908 Meeting by Pierre Roche
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color gypsograph print)

Invitation for the February 20, 1908 Meeting by Unknown
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the March 20, 1908 Meeting by George Auriol
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

 
Invitation for the April 11, 1908 Meeting by Shunbi Noguchi
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the May 18, 1908 Meeting by Luigi Chialiva
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print) 

Invitation for the June 16, 1908 Meeting by Yanagawa Shigenobu
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color photomechanical print)

Schedule for 1908-1909 Meetings by Shunbi Noguchi
Printed and carved by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the November 23, 1908 Meeting by Charles-Louis Houdard
(after a design by Katsushika Hokusai)
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color etching)

Invitation for the December 22, 1908 Meeting by Jean François Aubertin
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the January 26, 1909 Meeting by Pierre Roche
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color gypsograph print)

Invitation for the February 18, 1909 Meeting by Jules Chadel
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Note: The number 25 on this print refers to the fact that this is the 25th meeting invitation.   Some authorities attribute this design to Prosper-Alphonse Isaac or to both Chadel and Isaac, which suggests that Isaac may have at least printed the invitation.  Chadel also used this design for a menu (which bears his seal).

Invitation for the March 28, 1909 Meeting by Pierre Roy
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the April 24, 1909 Meeting by Unknown
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

 
Invitation for the May 24, 1909 Meeting by Unknown
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the June 22, 1909 Meeting by Jacques Beltrand
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the November 18, 1909 Meeting by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the December 18, 1909 Meeting by Jules Chadel
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Note: This design was also used for a menu.

Invitation for the January 18, 1910 Meeting by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the February 18, 1910 Meeting by Pierre Roche
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color gypsograph print)

Invitation for the February 18, 1910 Meeting by Ferdinand (Pierre) Roche
Courtesy of www.estampesmartinez.fr/
(color gypsograph print)

Note: This print is undated and could have been made for a different meeting in a different year.

Invitation for the March 18, 1910 Meeting by Charles-Louis Houdard
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color etching with aquatint)

Invitation for the April 18, 1910 Meeting by Adolphe Giraldon
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the May 18, 1910 Meeting by Maurice Feuillet
Printed by Mayer Riefstahl
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the June 18, 1910 Meeting by Jean Aubertin
Printed by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the November 10, 1910 Meeting by Kitao (Keisai) Masayoshi
Carved and printed by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the December 9, 1910 Meeting by Unknown
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the January 10, 1911 Meeting by Jules Chadel
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print and laminated photograph)

Note: A version of this print exists (without text or the photograph) that was printed by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac.

Invitation for the February 10, 1911 Meeting by Pierre Roche
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color gypsograph print)

Invitation for the March 10, 1911 Meeting by Adolphe Giraldon
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color photomechanical print)

Invitation for the April 10, 1911 Meeting by Charles-Louis Houdard
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color etching with aquatint)

Invitation for the May 10, 1911 Meeting by Jules Chadel
Printed by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the June 10, 1911 Meeting by Kitao (Keisai) Masayoshi
Carved and printed by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Schedule for 1911-1912 Meetings by Unknown
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the November 22, 1911 Meeting by Jules Chadel
Printed by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Note: The number 47 on this print refers to the fact that this is the 47th meeting invitation.

Invitation for the December 22, 1911 Meeting by Jean François Aubertin
Printed by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Note: One authority indicates that this print was carved by Jules Chadel.

Invitation for the January 22, 1912 Meeting by Tessan
Printed by Shimbi Shoin
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color photomechanical print)

Note:  Although the Bibliothèque Nationale de France has characterized this piece as a photomechanical print, given Shimbi Shoin's involvement one can't help but wonder if it isn't a woodblock print.

Invitation for the February 22, 1912 Meeting by Pierre Roche
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color gypsograph print)

Invitation for the March 22, 1912 Meeting by Charles-Louis Houdard
Printed by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the April 22, 1912 Meeting by George Auriol
Printed by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)
 
Invitation for the May 22, 1912 Meeting by Adolphe Giraldon
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color photomechanical print heightened with watercolor)

Invitation for the June 21, 1912 Meeting by Henri Saladin
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color photomechanical print)

Schedule for 1912-1913 Meetings by Unknown
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(watercolor)
 
Invitation for the November 18, 1912 Meeting by Jules Chadel
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the December 14, 1912 Meeting by Mokuchu Urushibara
Printed by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Note:  Although the Bibliothèque Nationale de France attributes this print to Urushibara, the seal on this print is not a recognized seal for Urushibara.

Invitation for the January 14, 1913 Meeting by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the February 14, 1913 Meeting by Pierre Roche
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(gypsograph print)
 
Invitation for the March 14, 1913 Meeting by Charles-Louis Houdard
Printed by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the April 14, 1913 Meeting by Bernard Naudin
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(woodblock print)

Invitation for the May 14, 1913 Meeting by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Note:  This design was also used for a menu.

Invitation for the June 14, 1913 Meeting by Adolphe Giraldon
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color photomechanical print)

Note: The meeting date was subsequently changed, necessitating a different invitation to be created.

Invitation for the June 20, 1913 Meeting by Mokuchu Urushibara
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

 
Invitation for the October 21, 1913 Meeting by Pierre Roche
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color gypsograph print)

Invitation for the November 27, 1913 Meeting by Jules Chadel
Printed by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Note: I have not been able to locate an image of the invitation used for the December 1913 meeting.

Invitation for the January 27, 1914 Meeting by Jules Chadel
Printed by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color woodblock print)

Invitation for the February 17, 1914 Meeting by Mokuchu Urushibara
Printed by Prosper-Alphonse Isaac
Courtesy of Ader Nordmann
(color woodblock print)

Note:  Although the Bibliothèque Nationale de France attributes this print to Urushibara, the seal on this print is not a recognized seal for Urushibara.

Invitation for the March 27, 1914 Meeting by Pierre Roche
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color gypsograph print)

Note: I have not been able to locate images of the invitations used for the April or May 1914 meetings.

Invitation for the June 26, 1914 Meeting by Adolphe Giraldon
Courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
(color photomechanical print)

If anyone has any information about the missing menu designs, please let me know.

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