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Lotus pattern frame

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (probably, designed and made)

  • Date:

    1897-1899 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Roussel, Theodore (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour etching, aquatint and softground

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased with Art Fund support, the Vallentin Trust and the Friends of the V&A

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case ES, shelf 136

This frame design was made by painter and etcher Theodore Roussel in the 1890s. It is one of four proofs of the same design in the V&A's collection, object numbers E.1480-1991 to E.1483-1991 inclusive. This frame design was paired with a mount pattern again designed, etched and printed by the artist. Roussel designed mounts and frames as ensembles and printed them in colours specially chosen to complement the print that they framed. According to Roussel, he did this to create "a harmony of colour, each proof so presented being the result sometimes of as many as twenty four or even a greater number of printings."

This design was one of two used in a set of nine prints of mounted and framed prints exhibited for the first time at the Goupil Gallery in 1899. The V&A holds the only known surviving complete framed set, object numbers E.1471-1991 to E.1479-1991 inclusive. They came from 'a house in Parson's Green', which is where Roussel lived, and are likely to have been the set in his house.

Roussel was born in Britanny and educated in Paris. In 1874 he moved to England. It was at Whistler's suggestion that he took up etching, developing the master's highly personal and private vision into public decorative works intended for the domestic interior. His approach to colour printing was revolutionary and fundamental to printing in colours in the twentieth century. In 1910 he became the first President of the Society of Graver Printers in Colour.

Physical description

Frame design consisting of a repeating stylized pattern of lotus flowers and leaves and geometric shapes. In rose, turquoise and beige.

This is one of four proofs, and examples of the finished frames also exist in different colours in the V&A's collection, see 'Associated object' section in this catalogue record for object numbers.

Place of Origin

London (probably, designed and made)


1897-1899 (made)


Roussel, Theodore (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Colour etching, aquatint and softground


Height: 132 mm sheet max, Width: 547 mm sheet max

Object history note

R.P. 90/2347.
Impressions of E.1471-1479-1991 and proofs of the Lotus and Stag and Flower pattern frames were exhibited at London, Goupil and Co., Original Etchings Printed in Colours by Theodore Roussel July 1899. The nine prints E.1471-1479-1991 is the only known set of these prints in their colour frames and is the set referred to on page 18 of Hausberg's catalogue raisonné.
Reported to have come from a house in Parsons Green where the artist had a house.

Descriptive line

Proof of frame design by the artist Theodore Roussel. Etching, aquatint and softground. Lotus pattern; the side segment; 1897-1899.

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

Mackay, A.E. The Etchings of Theodore Roussel. A Catalogue Raisonné of Plates, States and Impressions Printed in Monochrome and Colour from Original Etchings in Aquafort and Drypoint etc. With the Artist's Notes on Printing in Colour and Formulae of Tones. Unpublished, see registered papers 90/2347.
Hausberg, Margaret Dunwoody. The Prints of Theodore Roussel, A Catalogue Raisonné. Bronxville, 1991, no. 162.


Etching; Aquatint

Subjects depicted

Pattern; Foliation; Geometric pattern


Prints; Frames; Interiors


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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