Auguste-Louis Lepère (1849 - 1918)
Born in Paris, woodcutter and wood engraver Auguste Lepère studied with Joseph Smeeton between 1862 and 1867. He then studied drawing at the School of Lecoq de Boisbaudran, and in 1872, he created a workshop in Paris in partnership with Henri Paillard, producing illustrations for The illustrated World and L'Illustration. Over time, Lepère came to disdain the hyper-realistic rendering of tonality that was then the rage and instead turned to the stark delineation of subjects typical of the early period of woodcutting.
In 1888, in partnership with three like-minded colleagues, he founded L'Estampe Originale, an effort to restore the integrity of the woodcut, then besieged by the rising new technologies. Lepère is widely regarded as the person most responsible for the revival of classical wood engraving in Europe. In 1892, he established residence at Saint-Jean-de-Monts, where he lived and worked amid a circle of friends from all branches of the arts. He died at Domme, in Dordogne, France.
Woodcut, 1899; edition not stated. Image size 6” x 8¼”; overall size 10-5/8” x 15¼”. Initialed in the block. Fine overall condition.