Charles COTTET

Charles COTTET (1863–1925) was from the South of France, from the Savoy.  He received his training and found his artistic community in Paris, like many of his peers at the time.  However, Cottet found his true inspiration in Brittany, which he started to visit in the mid-1880s.  Views of the wild coastline of Brittany, the devout Christian life of the locals and the trades and traditions of the fishermen and women that inhabited the remote part of France, were his muses.  He left behind a vast painted oeuvre, and a not insignificant number of etchings, mostly in color.  His painting often shows symbolist undertones.  His prints do not.  A few of them are even rather realistic, and include some portraits of courtesans. Influenced early on by his friendship with Nabis artists, such as Maurice Denis and Edouard Vuillard, the first prints Cottet made were lithographs, both black and white and in color.  He did not practice the technique long.  By 1905, when he discovered etching, he turned his attention fully to intaglio, generally structuring his compositions with pure-line etching, which he often shaded with aquatint.  While he composed monochromatically, he often printed at least part, and sometimes all of this editions in color, using the “rag doll” method (à la poupée).  Approximately 59 prints came out of his hands.

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