Today we continue our exploration of #XRay and Maillol watermarked paper. Have you ever worked with handmade paper? Every sheet of “Papier de Montval” was meticulously handmade by Gaspard Maillol, nephew of artist Aristide Maillol, and his small team of workers.
This attention to craftsmanship made Gaspard’s “Papier de Montval” wildly popular with artists of the time, including Aristide’s good friend Henri Matisse, who used it for his 1937 “Self Portrait.” Take a close look at the drawing and the x-radiograph. What do you notice?
The paper that Matisse used displays a completely different watermark from earlier papers. This is because Gaspard Maillol sold “Papier de Montval” to the prestigious Canson & Montgolfier paper company in 1925; production moved to the Canson mill in Vidalon-les-Annonay, a town in south-central France. Note the similarity between this later watermark and the mark Aristide Maillol used on his sculptures, like “Torso of a Young Woman.” On this sculpture, can you find the “M” in a circle? For the watermark, the center-strokes of the “M” were lengthened to form an “MV” in honor of the town, Montval, where, years before, Gaspard Maillol made his first paper. #ArtAtoZ
X-radiograph detail and “Self-Portrait,” Henri Matisse, 1937, charcoal with stumping on wove paper, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 1985.64.104
Aristide Maillol, "Torso of a Young Woman" (detail), c. 1930, bronze, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 1983.1.60