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Drawing

Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    France (probably, made)

  • Date:

    probably mid 20th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Aizpiri, Paul, born 1919 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Walter Strachan

  • Museum number:

    E.218-1994

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case I, shelf 6, box E

Painter and lithographer, Paul Aizpiri (born 1919) illustrated several artist books, of which several were in Walter Strachan’s collection.

Poet and scholar Walter Strachan (1903-1994) was fascinated by the art of the book. His interest was inspired by a visit to an exhibition of artists’ books at the National Gallery in London in May 1945. In due course he wrote many articles on the subject, as well as a major reference work, The Artist and the Book in France (published 1969); he also encouraged successive Keepers of the National Art Library at the V&A “to buy them for England.” To this end he visited France every year, to meet the artists, and acquired proof pages to illustrate his articles and to show to potential purchasers of the books, including the V&A. Over the years he amassed a collection of images of owls; some of these were illustrations from livres d’artistes, and others were designed especially for him as gifts or greetings. The collection of owls began with a visit to the artist Roger Chastel (1897-1981) in 1952, where he witnessed the printing of Le Bestiaire de Paul Eluard. In a subsequent article (“Genesis and Growth of a Collection”, for Connoisseur, 1972) he explained: “My article on Chastel’s Bestiaire had the happy result of bringing me a special print on Auvergne paper of the owl which I had admired in the book. Contacts in the art-world of Paris are close and friendly, and I was marked down as an owl-man, in consequence of which I have gradually been given dedicated owl prints and originals in every medium from pen and ink to enamel…”

Physical description

Watercolour drawing of an owl set against a blue, green, purple and pink background. The owl is in green, purple, orange and brown and sits on a branch which is drawn in outline.

Place of Origin

France (probably, made)

Date

probably mid 20th century (made)

Artist/maker

Aizpiri, Paul, born 1919 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on paper

Marks and inscriptions

pour Monsieur STRACHAN / avec ma grande sympathie / AiZPiRi
Inscribed in brown ink, lower right.

intaglio stamped inscription (watermark?).
Running across the top.

Dimensions

Height: 43.6 cm, Width: 31 cm

Object history note

This forms part of a collection of prints, drawings and paintings of owls bequeathed to the V&A by Walter Strachan (1903-1994). Strachan, a scholar and collector of Livres d'Artistes, became friendly with a large number of artists, who, on hearing that he had a fondness for owls, began sending him images to add to his collection.

Descriptive line

Watercolour drawing, owl, by Paul Aizpiri.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Strachan, Walter J. Graphic owls from France: variations on a theme in an English private collection. Connoisseur. Aug. 1972. pp.240-247.

Production Note

Reason For Production: Private

Materials

Watercolour; Paper

Techniques

Drawing

Subjects depicted

Owl

Categories

Drawings; Images Online

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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