Georges Rouault had a tumultuous artistic journey, although this fact the painter himself may not agree with. Originally a glass painter, Rouault attended evening classes in fine art to complement his day work for Parisian churches and cathedrals, and thus eventually earned his admittance to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, or France’s national School of Art. His early interest was in existentialism and social criticism, which placed his temperament as an artist firmly within the expressive, subversive Moderns. His paintings also, refused to obey the rules of form or realism, instead displaying vibrant color, heavy outlines, and odd, almost dream-like logic.
In his later years, Georges Rouault gave up his trade as a glass painter and instead dedicated himself to painting, and in so doing also to his exploration of Christian motifs and beliefs. Although he started as an existentialist and a social critic, he later became one of the foremost painters of modern Christian iconography; his work returning again and again to the face of Jesus Christ and the sorrow of Mother Mary.
His printed works were sadly disrupted by the Second World War, just as many fine French artists were. A string of exhibitions came to an end in 1937, and only exhibited once again, in 1948 his cycle Misiere (Misery). The loss not just of his painted works extends to his printed works, as many of the finest of Parisian art publishers also met their end in the dark days of the WWII. Today, the best surviving pieces to be found come from the Nouvelle Revue Française, Paris (1931), and Editions Porteret, Paris (1929). By careful research, it is possible to find unique limited editions of compendiums of Rouault’s work, still with unique lithographic prints.
A happier note for the collector however, is that Tudor Publishing Company of New York took pains to re-issue the classic XXe Siecle Review in the seventies, featuring retrospectives and limited works by many of the pre-war artists such as Rouault. Look out for Homage to Georges Rouault (1971) priced at just a few hundred US dollars.
Rouault, Georges Church. Les Clowns. Les Clowns, Editions to Deux Amis (1922). 3 illustrations reproduced from drawings by Rouault, handcoloured by Daniel Jacomet
Rouault, Georges. Souvenirs Intimes. E Frapier (1927). 6 full-page original b&w lithographs
Rouault, Georges. Paysages Legendaires. Editions Porteret (1929). six original lithographs by Georges Rouault
Rouault, Georges. Carnets de Gilbert. NRF (1931). full-page frontispiece lithograph
Rouault, Georges. Verve 4. Editions de la Revue Verve (1938). lithographs by Matisse and Derain, and a cover by Rouault.
Rouault, Georges. Visages, 10 Etudes De l'Atelier. Boston Book & Art Shop (1969). 10 color reproductions of paintings by Rouault
Rouault, Georges San Lazzaro. Homage to Georges Rouault. Tudor Publishing (1971). original Rouault lithograph
Rouault, Georges San Lazzaro. Hommage a Georges Rouault, Numero Special de la Revue XXe Siecle. Editions XXe Siecle (1971). original Rouault lithograph
Rouault, Georges Chapon. Oeuvre Grave de Rouault / Graphic Work. Andre Sauret (1978). over 200 illustrations
Rouault, Georges Dorival. L'oeuvre Peint. Andre Sauret (1988). catalogue raisonne of the paintings