This lithograph is one of three that illustrate a text by Jean Giono, which is part of a large work entitled "Regards sur Paris" written by the ten members of the Goncourt Academy. The text of each writer includes 3 or 4 colored lithographs executed by ten different artists (Beaudin, Braque, Brianchon, Carzou, Masson, Picasso, Dunoyer de Segonzac, Van Dongen and Villon).
Classification of the printing shows: 180 copies on large Arches that break down as follows:
10 copies numbered as they came from the press from 1 to 10, including a set of the original lithographs on pearly Japanese paper, signed by the artists, and a set on Arches; 20 copies numbered as they came from the press from 11 to 30, including a set of Arches of the original lithographs; 120 copies numbered from 31 to 150; 30 copies not for sale marked H.C. (hors commerce) specially reserved for the authors, artists and artisans of the book. All the copies are signed by the authors and the ten artists.
Published by Andre Sauret, Paris. From "Regards sur Paris". Mourlot 351.
Provenance: Private Collection, USA.
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Henri Masson was born in Spa Belgium in 1907. Only in 1927, did he move to Canada with his mother. Henri Masson would become interested in painting at the age of sixteen subsequently working at a printing studio concurrently with classes at the Ottawa Art Association and the Ottawa Art Club.
In 1935, Masson painted extensively throughout Quebec, including the Gatineau, the Gaspé, the Eastern Townships, and the Charlevoix region. In 1942 his art gained in popularity and he slowly made painting sales, allowing him to leave his job as a printmaker. He was still not comfortable with role as artist proper, so Masson chose to teach. First, in Kingston, summer classes at Queen’s University, and then in 1948 in Ottawa where he taught art class for children at the National Gallery of Canada. Following these teaching positions he would ultimately devote his efforts to painting.
Henri Masson’s works vary in subject matter and also medium. He has experimented with drawing, watercolours, pastels, inks and washes. He died in 1996.