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IDNY to distribute historic Louvre prints. (news).

SPECIAL REPORT--International Decor New York (IDNY) has been selected by the Reunion des Musees Nationaux (RMN), the Union of French Museums, to be the U.S. distributor for the prestigious Chalcography Collection of the Louvre Museum. Dating back to the 16th century, the collection from the Louvre contains more than 13,000 engraved copper plates which are stored at the RMN Chalcography Workshop in Paris. The word "chalcography" (derived from the Greek for "writing on copper") refers to copperplate engraving and the place where plates engraved in this way are kept. IDNY is now offering open-edition restrikes from the original plates on etching presses. All engravings are hand-made in the workshop from the original plates by a team of four specialists. Prices range from under $100 to a couple of thousand dollars.

"We are very excited to offer this exquisite and historic collection to U.S collectors," said Beth Donner, president of IDNY. "With such a large variety of subject matter to choose from, these affordable engravings, created directly from original plates residing in the Louvre archives in Paris, are sure to become a popular choice."

Begun by the Sun King, Louis XIV, in 1660 as a way to memorialize his reign, the Chalcography collection offers diverse subject matter, from depictions of royal castles and residencies, animals, architecture and botanicals to religious art, chateaus, monuments, portraits and maps, among others. Highlights include Charles Le Brun's studies on human and animal physiognomy, the Carrousel of 1662, the Natural History of Plants and Animals and the Plaisirs de l'Isle enchantee (a series of pleasurable diversions, such as concerts, ballets and fireworks given by the Louis XIV at Versailles). The Royal Collection continued to flourish after Louis XIV, and works from other eras, such as Napoleon Bonaparte's "Description of Egypt" (907 plates of archeological, scientific and artistic importance, telling the story of Bonaparte's expedition to Egypt) are also available. In addition, the collections are constantly enriched through a policy of acquiring old engravings and commissioning works from contemporary artists, including Genevieve Asse, Georg Baselitz, Louise Bourgeois, Philippe Favier, Robert Morris and Terry Winters.

According to Donner, the RMN's priority is to reproduce engravings that are as close as possible to the first chalcographies made centuries ago. Papers and inks are purchased from all over the world in order to ensure that the best quality. Only the chalcographies that meet the highest standards are approved by the Master Printer, said Donner. These receive the "RMN" seal.

Alongside its commercial endeavors, IDNY is presenting exhibitions of the vast collection and recently had shows at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York and at the Maison Francaise of New York University. Selections from the collection may be seen next at Artexpo New York in February.

For more information, visit or call (646) 773-2131.

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Publication:Art Business News
Date:Dec 1, 2002
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