In Fin-de-Siècle Paris, Henri-Charles Guérard Made Quietly Decadent Prints

THE DAILY PIC: At the New York Public Library, printmaker Henri-Charles Guérard is a master of subtle strangeness.

THE DAILY PIC (#1729): I spend a lot of time doing research at the New York Public Library, one of the world’s great storehouses of knowledge. On my latest visit a few days ago, I was struck, for the umpteenth time, by the weird glories of its survey of the 19th-century French printmaker Henri-Charles Guérard. The show is only up for another few weeks, and I worry that too many of New York’s culturati will miss its treasures, as they head for better-known names at the city’s better-known art venues.

Today’s Pic gives a sampling of two of Guerard’s recurring preoccupations: Black cats and old lanterns. There are many others.

Strangeness is a central aesthetic value for Guerard, as it was for a number of his contemporaries among the French Decadents, but his version has a placid, inward, obsessive-compulsive side. (Prints from the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs of the New York Public Library)

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