New Ashmolean Exhibition - Lucien Pissarro in England: The Eragny Press 1895–1914

The Queen of the Fishes, Lucien Pissarro Today I visited the Ashmolean to take in their latest exhibition, Lucien Pissarro in England. This is the first comprehensive display of the work of the Eragny Press, which was operated by Lucien (son of the more famous impressionist Camille) and his wife Esther from their home in Chiswick, London. Only thirty-two titles were ever produced, and if you manage to go and see these beautiful handmade books then you will understand why. Pissarro designed and cut each wood block personally – resulting in expensive books few could afford. Financially, the Pissarros struggled, but the gorgeous bindings, intricate borders and patterns, and highly-coloured illustrations of the books themselves are a great artistic success. The level of craftsmanship on display - especially in today’s mass-market, disposable world – is quite overwhelming. Well worth a visit! The exhibition runs until the 18th of March, and an accompanying catalogue is available, priced Ј15.

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