Paper

Image["Dans l'ombre (detail)"]

All of the prints in the exhibition are printed on chine collé. This type of paper is made from a very thin oriental paper that was laid onto a heavier European paper before printing. The chine or China paper was made from hand-beaten bark pulp (mainly bamboo). In order to make this textured surface smooth and remove imperfections, it was usually brushed before being treated. However, Redon often left the paper in its original state to create a textured background to his prints. The fine chine paper was cut to fit the exact dimensions of the print, dampened, and then laid over the image on the stone. The European paper (Redon used thick white wove stock without watermark) was then dampened and laid over the chine paper. Finally, this was passed through the lithographic press, which transferred the image onto the chine and bound the two layers of paper together. The sizes of the printed images vary greatly, but the sheets were cut to the same sizes according to the format of the album. For this reason there are some very small images on large sheets of paper, the smallest being Hélène (Ennoia). Redon occasionally used expensive Japan paper for de luxe editions of prints. This is a lustrous paper made from mulberry bark, which produces images with a greater richness, depth of tone, and luminosity.


The Fitzwilliam Museum : Paper

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