antique prints, maps and watercolors

Sem (Les Acacias) Paris, 1906. Framed. $1,500.00

(Untitled "Les Acacias")

George Goursat (1863-1934) was a French caricaturist known as “Sem.”  In 1888 Goursat self-published 3 albums of caricatures signing them “Sem.” It is thought that this was a tribute to the early 19th century French caricaturist Charles Amedee de Noe who signed his caricatures for the periodical “Le Monde Illustre” 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 horse races. Goursat chose horse racing as his entrée into French “Beau Monde.” Just 3 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.

This is one of a set of 6 prints titled “Les Acacias.” The oblong folio pochoir prints depicted a cross section of Parisian high society. This type of group “portrait” of the era’s more prominent personalities was a popular trope. Here we see the Count de Dion driven by his chauffer Ze’Le’Le’ through the Bois de Boulogne in a De Dion motor car.

The printing method Goursat utilized is called pochoir, a technique of creating prints by applying color and line with cutout stencils. Some pochoir prints utilized upwards of thirty stencils for a single image. We are thrilled to be able to offer this scarce and wonderful original for sale.

Oblong folio, pochoir print
14 x 41 inches sheet size.
Condition: some wear on reverse edges where print had been affixed to old matting. Traces of old foxing stains in lower bottom of page (negligible), centerfold worn, otherwise very good impression of this scarce print.

Archivally framed in solid wood curly maple molding. Please contact us for framed photos.