LUCIEN COUTAUD (French / 1904-1977)

Lucien Coutaud is well described in the title of a 2004 exhibition catalogue from the Musée du Vieux-Nîmes as "Scénographe de l'insolite et du merveilleux" - Scene painter of the strange and the marvellous. In Twentieth Century Graphics (1971), the then-curator of prints at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Jean Adhémar, called Lucien Coutaud, “the most famous surrealist printmaker”. A good part of this fame derives from the etchings he made for the book Ma Civilisation, with text by the leading expert on the Marquis de Sade. Gilbert Lély, published by Maeght in 1947. These haunting prints establish a world of erotic unease that underlines Lucien Coutaud’s own word for his work: “erotomagic”. In The Artist and the Book in France, W. J. Strachan writes that they are “characterized by an obsessive almost intellectualized eroticism, in which we move in a kind of half-Freudian, half-Euclidean dream-world.” While recognizing Coutaud’s literary inspirations in de Sade (acknowledged in these prints by an etching of Sade’s chateau at Lacoste) and Lautréamont, Strachan also draws attention to his artistic debts to Piero della Francesca, Max Ernst, and de Chirico. Lucien Coutaud won the Prix National Daumier de la Gravure in 1952, and the Grand Prix de Peinture de la Ville de Paris in 1967, among other awards. See: Mazars, Lucien Coutaud, 1963. Refs: Pierre Cailler, Catalogue Raisonné de l’Oeuvre Gravé et Lithographié de Lucien Coutaud, 1960; Jean-Marie Granier et al, Lucien Coutaud Gravures et Dessins dans les collections des Musée de la Ville de Nîmes (1989)..

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Selected prints by LUCIEN COUTAUD

Le Fiancé inquiétant, 1947
Figure de l'aire
rouge, 1972

View all available prints by LUCIEN COUTAUD