Artist: Armand Rassenfosse (1862-1934)
Title: l'Art independent.
Date of printing: 1897.
Technique: Original chromolithography
Armand Rassenfosse was born in Liège on 6 August 1862. For generations his family had run a store selling home furnishings and decorative art works: crystal, porcelain, bronze and oriental rugs. Armand was expected to continue the family business. However, for the last years of his secondary education he went to Namur to study, living with his uncle, who gave him a few etchings by Félicien Rops from his collection. Already interested in art from his family background, he became intrigued with etching.
After completing secondary school Rassenfosse joined the family business. Auguste Donnay, whom Rassenfosse's father had hired to decorate a home, became a friend of Armand and introduced him to other students of the Academy of Fine Arts in Liege including Gustave Serrurier, Émile Berchmans and Oscar Berchmans. Unknown to his family, by 1882 Rassenfosse was contributing drawings signed "Zig" to the satirical journal Le Frondeur, and was experimenting with etching using crude tools. In 1884 he married. The same year he showed his work to Adrien de Witte, an art teacher at the Liège Academy of Fine Arts. de Witte encouraged him to try out new techniques, including pyrography. This is a decorative technique in which a line drawing is burned into the wood. He made his first painting this year. In 1886, he began contributing illustrations to the magazine Wallonia.
In 1887 Rassenfosse started to submit work to August Bénard, who had just founded his printing house in Liege. Over the years Rassenfosse would make many works for this house that he considered run of the mill, although some passed the test of time among the best of his works. At the age of 25 Rassenfosse was in Paris on family business and was introduced to Felicien Rops, his first inspiration, who was then at the height of his career. This was the start of a long friendship between the two men, who shared a common search for technical mastery in etching.
Size or Dimensions
Size (image size exc. margins nor matting): 21.7 x 15.4 cm.
Size (inc. matting): 40 x 30 cm.
Date of printing: 1897
Skilfully matted under museum-quality card-board; ready to frame.