About This Artwork

Louis Auguste Lepère
French, 1849-1918

Breaking Waves, September Tide, 1901

Woodcut from three blocks in water-based colors on cream laid paper
282 x 396 mm (image); 321 x 449 mm (sheet)

Gift of M. Knoedler and Company, 1923.1841

Louis-Auguste Lepére began his career as a commercial wood engraver, but in 1885 he decided to begin making his own original woodcuts. Moved by Japanese prints exhibited at the 1888 Exposition Internationale de Blanc et Noir and the 1889 Exposition Universelle, Lepére experimented with the color woodcut process. Breaking Waves pays homage to the ocean imagery popular in the islands of Japan and integrates a diagonally recessed shoreline with a horizon line just above the center elements that find a counterpart in Utagawa Hiroshige's Hamamatsu.

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