Henry Chapront (1876-1965) was born along the West coast of France in Rochefort, before making his way to Paris around 1895. From comments made by his contemporaries, he seems to have immediately found his place in symbolist circles, befriending fellow fine artists, writers, illustrators and other figures in Paris. This gave him access to people who could provide paying jobs for an aspiring artist.  As early as 1899 he is illustrating for publications like La Caricature, but also creating ex-libri for the many French book collectors.  Where he would have received a formal artistic education is unclear.  Interestingly, Chapront was not a printmaker until after the end of World War I.  As of 1919, and for the next decade or so, he was a prolific book illustrator, using both intaglio and woodcut to depict literary subjects.  While some of these etchings and relief prints are printed in black and white, many were conceived at least with some color in mind.  Henry Chapront was attracted to morbid and sexually charged imagery at a young age.  It seems this propensity was only accentuated by age.  Illustrations for Charles Baudelaire’s Fleurs du Mal or Joris-Karl Huymans La-Bas, are far out, to say the least!  Much remains to be discovered about Chapront.  He lived until 1965 (and died in Dordogne), while mostly disappearing from public arts circles after 1930.  He also may have supplemented his income in ways yet to be uncovered, since living from illustrations alone would have been rather difficult.  And most biographical details of his life are non-existent.  There is room for improvement to this biographical sketch.

Henri CHAPRONT - L’Ondine - The Unidine - Woodcut - Dark blue and brown - detail

The Unidine


L’Ondine (original French title)  Woodcut printed in two tones on laid Japan paper.Edition of 30 or 50. The numbering on two known impressions is h...

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