This weekend we explore a different use of #XRay. Not only are x-rays used to understand paintings, they can also be used to identify makers of paper. Have you ever seen a watermark on a piece of paper? Watermarks are all around us, from copy paper to our paper currency.
In 1910 French sculptor, painter, and printmaker Aristide Maillol found that he was dissatisfied by the commercial paper that was readily available. Instead, he wanted a tactile kind of paper. After discovering that none of the operating paper mills could produce the specific paper that he wanted, Aristide convinced his nephew, Gaspard Maillol, to move to Monval, a tiny town near Paris, to create it for him. Aristide allowed Gaspard to use the image of one of his sculptures, “La Mediterranee,” for his first watermark around 1912.
The pictured watermark, although very similar to the original, actually dates back to the 1930’s. Look carefully at the sculpture, and then the image of the watermark. Can you spot the similarities? What do you notice first about the way Gaspard translated the sculpture to paper? One interesting fact: the initials “MK,” below the watermark, stand for “Maillol-Kessler” after Harry Kessler--a patron of Aristide Maillol’s who had originally commissioned “La Mediterranee.” If you could watermark a sheet of paper, what would you include? #ArtAtoZ
X-radiograph of paper with “La Méditerranée,” Aristide Maillol, c. 1906, marble, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 1995.47.17
Aristide Maillol(1861-1944) 馬約爾
《馬約爾人體素描》成都 四川美術 1987
Virgil Eclogues (1912 1926) 插畫
He depicted only the human figure, especially the female nude. .... asked by the committee what form he proposed to give it and replied 'Eh! une femme nue. ...