Epinal picture | XIX-XXe | Images d'Epinal (123 works)

25 January 2013
5 108

Epinal is a city in eastern France, on the Moselle River, 60 km south of Nancy, the administrative center of the Vosges department. Us. 35,794 inhabitants (1999). Epinal is located in South Lorraine, in the heart of Europe, close to Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg.

The city grew up around a monastery founded in the 10th century by the Bishop of Metz. In 1465, King Charles VII ceded the rights to Epinal to the rulers of Lorraine, with which it was incorporated into France after the death of Stanislav Leszczynski. Since the 18th century In the city, “epinal prints” were produced - a unique type of popular print. A large collection of these gizmos is in the local museum. The oldest building in the city is the Basilica of St. Martin (founded in the 11th century).

Jean-Charles Pellerin (1756-1836) was born and raised in the small town of Epinal, (Lorraine), where after the death of his father he inherited his business - a printing studio that published playing cards. In 1800, he closed down his profitable enterprise to start his own project...

Pellerin begins to print illustrated sheets with educational stories for children and adults on a variety of topics. Initially, stories on the history of France and mostly the French Revolution predominated among them. The printing technique was at first the same as for the production of playing cards: wood engraving, painted in several colors using a stencil.

Pellerin's illustrated sheets, called "Epinal pictures" (Image d'Epinal), were distributed by book peddlers. Soon, color pictures quickly became a success. The topic began to expand. Pictures for children began to predominate: educational, educational, educational, entertaining. The greatest love was given to riddle pictures (evinettes) and images based on visual illusions. Nowadays such sheets are the most valuable collectible objects among epinals.

The business of Jean-Charles Pellerin was also continued by his son, nephew and grandson. Despite the fact that the Pellerin dynasty was interrupted, the publishing house under the brand name "Imagerie d'Epinal" exists to this day and is still located in the French town of Epinal.

Collectors are most fond of riddle pictures and optical illusions. The cost of such sheets issued in the 1860-70s. reaches 500-600 euros. The author of this article has never seen any earlier ones printed during the life of the founding father. The value of sheets printed in the Epinal studio itself and those printed under license in other cities and countries does not differ. The price usually depends not on the rarity of the picture, but on how interesting it is in itself. The reason for this, apparently, is that epinals are most often purchased for the interior (for example, for a child’s room), and not for investment purposes. The cost of pictures in online auctions is arbitrary and can reach two or three hundred for the most ordinary print. However, from time to time someone receives an inheritance and decides to empty the attic of an old house in France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the USA... And then at a flea market you can see a pack of inexpensive Epinal pictures. If you see it, don't miss it...


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