antique prints, maps and watercolors

Sem (Tennis - Mixed Doubles) Paris, c. 1900-9. Sold

"Au Tennis  – Mixed Doubles”

Georges Goursat (1863 – 1934) was a French caricaturist known as “Sem.” In 1888 Goursat self-published three albums of caricatures, signing them "SEM." It is thought that this was in tribute to the early 19th century French caricaturist and lithographer Charles Amédée de Noé, who signed his caricatures for the periodical “Le Monde Illustré”as "Cham."

A charming and talented man, Goursat was working in Paris at the time of the opening of the Universal Exposition in 1900 where the Art Nouveau style in architecture and decoration was hugely popular. His inspiration came from observing French high society enjoying life at restaurants, at the opera and at the races. Goursat chose horse racing as his way of entry to French "Beau Monde." Just three months after his arrival to Paris he self-published an album titled “Le Turf” with caricatures of many prominent Parisians. The success of this album made him famous overnight.

Goursat supported himself selling illustrations both humorous and serious to the French major periodicals of the day. He put together albums of caricatures depicting high society in Monte Carlo, Deauville, the Cote d’Azur, and Paris. He wrote articles and created posters illustrating the tourist towns of Deauville, Cannes and Monte Carlo. His art is particularly associated with the Belle Epoque and his unique style of drawing brought him great success and fame.

The printing method Goursat utilized is called pochoir. It was a technique of creating prints by applying color and line with cutout stencils. Some pochoir prints utilized thirty stencils for a single image.

This original pochoir print represents Georges Goursat’s art at it’s prime. We don’t think it was issued in one of his albums, instead it may have been a single issue print, which makes it all the more desirable and difficult to find in good condition. Goursat’s use of line and color creating movement and perspective on a small scale coalesce into the PERFECT SEM print. Terribly scarce, we are thrilled to offer this wonderful image!

Pochoir print
Approx. 15 x 21.5 inches sheet size.
Old centerfold.
Very good condition.