CHAHINE Edgar 1874-1947
Edgar Chahine, Painter and Etcher was born in Vienna in 1874 from Armenian parents.
Naturalized Frenchman in 1925, he died in Paris in 1947.
He spent his childhood in Constantinople and he was 16 years old when he arrived in Venice where he attended the Academy.
Later he became the pupil of Laurens and Constant at the Julian Academy in Paris.
He received a gold medal in 1900 at the "Exposition Universelle" in Paris.
In 1903, he exhibited at the "Salon de la Société des Beaux-arts" nine prints, including Louise France's portraits. His success was great.
Very quickly, he became greatly appreciated by amateurs and art critiques.
In 1924, the Venice Biennale consecrated a room to his works.
His works are in numerous museums around the world including Art Institute of Chicago and the Bibliotheque Nationale.
He called himself "pupil of the street", but one must add that it meant only Parisian streets. In 1899 he carried out his first etching "five heads of beggars". It is from this that Sagot set him on his feet. Among his sheets on poor people I quote "Dormeuses sur le quai, chemineau, place Clichy, vieille mendiante à l'église" , concerning some fashionable ladies "Deux bras, contraste, Demoiselle au tennis". Among most significant, they are the portraits "Anatole France" in whom also appears a subtle psychological comprehension, "Alfred Stevens, Cornely" and particularly the "Louise France" in a popular character.
" wrote Hans W. Singer.
He printed a very few proofs of each work (not above 30 or 40).
Most of these were printed by Chahine himself. His studio was destroyed twice, burn in 1926 and flooded in 1942. Each time, the whole material was wasted (proofs, documentation), so the number of prints really in public hands is as a matter of fact very low, a great part of the proofs having been destroyed.
All the following proofs are rare, because selected or printed by Chahine himself and dedicated to his French Editor Edmond Sagot who was also a great amateur of art.
Tabanelli M. R. " Edgar Chahine; catalogue de l'oeuvre gravé " Il Mercante di Stampe, Milano 1977.
C. Blaizot & Gautrot: " Chahine illustrateur " Librairie Blaizot, Paris 1974.
Hans W. Singer: " De moderne graphik " Leipzig 1914. pages 503-5.
Gabriel P. Weisberg : " Edgar Chahine La vie Parisienne " Smithsonian Institution 1984.
Béraldi Henri: "Les graveurs du XXème siècle. Chahine, peintre-graveur et illustrateur" vol 17, pp 269-276.
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