RAJON, Paul Adolphe (1843/44 - 1888)
circa 1880. Etching. Printed on fine Japanese paper. Proof impression. In good condition apart from some mild creases in sheet. Image size: 5 x 3 ¾ inches. Sheet size: 10 ¾ x 7 ¾ inches. Plate mark: 6 x 4 ¼ inches.
An intimate portrait of Mr. Reid, the Keeper of Prints at the British Museum by the celebrated French etcher Paul Adolphe Rajon.
Paul Adolphe Rajon was a French painter and printmaker. After a rudimentary education he moved to Paris where he made a living as a photographer while studying at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Isidore-Alexandre-Augustin Pils. In Paris he became friendly with the etching revivalists and learnt to etch under Léon Gaucherel and Léopold Flameng. Although he made debut at the Salon in 1865 with a drawing, he decided to devote himself to etching and exhibited only etching for the rest of his career. His works, which were mainly reproductions of paintings by contemporary artists or by Old Masters such as Gainsborough, Rembrandt and Rubens, appeared in the journals L'Art and Gazette des beaux-arts and were also published by Galeries Goupil. He also produced original portrait etchings of contemporary writers including Turgenev, Tennyson and Théophile Gautier. In 1873 Rajon received a commission through Bracquemond to go to England. Thereafter he visited the country for six months a year, making portrait etchings such as Darwin, after Walter William Ouless (1848-1933), and Mrs Rose, after Frederick Sandys. Both in France and England he enjoyed financial and critical success and, through his acquaintance with the American print dealer Frederick Keppel (1845-1912) in New York, his fame also spread to the USA, which he visited. He was awarded medals for graphic art at the Salons of 1869, 1870, 1873 and at the Exposition Universelle of 1878.