Prints

Catalog raisonné of the prints

The collection of the artist’s prints is based on the work of Laure Vallette, as part of her master’s thesis in art history written in 2005, under the direction of Professor Emmanuel Pernoud at the University of Picardie Jules Verne, from the archives collected by Christine Manessier.

Gabrièle Schiffer and Jeanne Manessier, with the help of Jean-Baptiste Manessier, Odile and Jean-François Locquin, have updated, photographed and digitized the works.

The present online version of Laure Valette’s work has been reviewed, corrected and expanded by Christine Manessier, according to the current state of our knowledge, which may still evolve over time.

If you have additional information about a print by Alfred Manessier or if you wish to report a lack or an error, please write to us at the following address: archives.manessier@gmail.com

The Engraved Work of Alfred Manessier

In parallel to painting, Manessier expressed himself through a hundred original prints and a dozen illustrated books. The artist most often favored the technique of lithography, no doubt to best meet his aptitudes and aspirations as a colorist.

“It is necessary to go back forty years to find a trace of my first lithographic attempt. At the very beginning, I only ventured into black and white. But very quickly, the following year, having acquired a certain mastery of the technique, an album composed of seven color lithographs on the theme of Easter was presented in April 1949 as part of a first solo exhibition at Jeanne Bucher in Paris.

In 1978, I was given the opportunity to take up and develop – as an echo – this same theme of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, in a series of fifteen lithographs prepared on zinc plates and not, alas, on stones like the majority of my prints.

When I first started working with lithography, I immediately felt that for me it was not simply a means of reproducing an already existing work, but a means of expression in itself, with its own requirements and resources.

Moreover, this means of expression offered the advantage, by the multiplication of the same image, albeit in a limited edition, of being able to reach and perhaps touch a wider public.

Lithography thus allowed me to “popularize” or “democratize” certain major themes addressed in my painting, on which I wanted to particularly insist.

And curiously enough, if one looks back on all the lithographs I have been asked to make, one can see that they trace a punctual and essential summary of my painted work.

Thus one finds present – through this choice of prints – the three axes which support the whole of my work: my love of nature, of its landscapes and its lights; the affirmation of my Christian faith and my sensitivity in the face of the tragic events of the world.

Changing discipline rests and helps to renew oneself: it’s as if the breathing is different. The lithography, certainly, is not the same world, materially, as the stained glasses, the tapestry or the painting, but what I try to express – by the mediation of stones, inks and paper – carries the mark of the same spirit.

In the work of preparing my prints, I feel like a lithographer from head to toe. At the time of the corrections and the printmaking – abandoning the solitary and silent work of the workshop – I am happy to share for a few moments the life of the lithographic craftsmen in the exercise of a collective work. I feel how excellent it is for me to find myself from time to time in the middle of a workshop like the one, for example, in Mourlot in Montparnasse, where the benevolent complicity of the chromist Henry Deschamps has been waiting for me for years.

In lithography, the most important element is the discipline imposed by the technical process: the need to play on a sometimes very limited register of colors. It is necessary to take advantage of the four or five colors imposed by the craft itself – colors that must be tuned to the maximum, that must be superimposed with more or less transparency, depending on the order of the passages. To know how to enrich such red in order to make it appear. To calm this blue or to exalt this other. To cool or warm the blacks which must be considered as colors. Until the end, it is possible to modify the inks, thus the quality.

A modest working conduct is necessary. It puts you in front of precise problems which it is necessary to solve immediately. It guides and encircles the will until the final creation.”

Clamart, October 3, 1988

Extract from the catalog published to accompany the retrospective of Alfred Manessier’s engraved work – MANESSIER, LE REGARD, LA COULEUR, LA PIERRE, 40 ANS DE LITHOGRAPHIE – organized abroad by the Association française d’Action Artistique – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from February 21, 1989 to July 15, 1991.

 

Etchings

Jeune femme à la fenetre
Jeune femme à la fenêtre, 1943
Untitled, 1943
Untitled, other state, [Voile de Véronique], 1943
Untitled, state I, 1943
Sans titre état II
Untitled, state II, 1943
Sans titre état II
Présence d’Apollinaire, 1943
La Table, other title La Table au crucifix, 1944
L’Atelier or L’Atelier du Bignon, 1944

Original lithographs

7 Lithographs on the theme of Easter, 1949
Plate 1. Le Jardin des Oliviers
Plate 2. Le Procès et la flagellation
Plate 3. La Passion
Plate 4. Les Ténèbres
Plate 5. La Mise au tombeau
Plate 6. La Résurrection
Plate 7. Le Jardin de pâques
Gethsémani, 1951
Gethsémani, variante I 1952
Gethsémani, 1951
Gethsémani, variante II 1952
Crépuscule or Soir qui tombe, 1951
Hiver ou Jeux dans la neige avec taches jaunes, 1952
Litanies, 1952
Formes et transparences, 1953
Poisson, 1953
Dans la prairie, 1954
Vers la mer ou Bord de mer, (Au Crotoy), 1955
Automnal, 1955
Jeux dans la neige, 1956
[L’]Offrande, 1956
Hiver hollandais, other titles : Moins 12°c ou -12°c ; Hollande n°2, 1956
Février en Hollande, Other title : Grand paysage hollandais, 1956
Printemps nordique I, other title, Hollande n°1, 1956
Printemps nordique II, other title Hollande n°2, 1956
Ponts et canaux  I, other title : Hollande n°31, 1956
Flamme vive, 1957
La Nuit, 1958
La Route, 1958
La Route, 1958
La Route, 1958
L’eau et la pureté, 1959
A l’obscur, 1959
La Source or Hommage à Saint Jean de la Croix, 1959
Le Nid, Petite tache noire n°1, 1960
Collines, [1960-1961]
Source ou Torrent, [1960-1961]
Pour Noël ou L’Avent, 1961
Eau souterraine ou Tache noire n°2, Other title originally given by the artist : Page de croquis, 1962
Composition, 1964
Alléluia des champs, 1963 ou 1964
Alléluia rouge, 1965
Alléluia bleu, 1965
Les trois clous, [1965/1966]
Crépusculaire, Other titles : Terre espagnoIe I / Ombre escarpée, 1966
Le Ravin, Other title : Terre espagnole II, 1966
Printemps précoce, Other title : Printemps rose espagnol (Amandier), 1966

Petit Alléluia, [Pour un mariage], 1970

Le Grand Nord ou Canada, 1971
Fishes’ sanctuary, 1970/71
Dernières neiges, 1971
Dernières neiges, 1971
Boule de neige I, 1971
Boule de neige II, 1971
Procès de Burgos I, 1971
Procès de Burgos II, 1971
Viêt Nam I, 1971
Viêt Nam I, with poems, 1971
Petite graine d’espérance, 1971
La tache rouge, 1971
Petite tache rouge, 1972
Viêt-Nam II, 1974
Éclatement, [1974-1975]
Ode élémentaire à Pablo Neruda, 1975
Joie champêtre, 1975
Laudes II, [1976]
L’arbre et le vent, 1977
Fifteen Lithographs on the theme of Easter, 1978
I. Le Jardin des Oliviers

 

II. L’Arrestation de Jésus
III. L’Emprisonnement ou La Prison
IV. Les Tortures

 

V. Le Reniement de Pierre ou Le Chant du coq
VI. La Cohorte
VII. La Montée au Calvaire – Les Saintes Femmes

 

VIII. La Montée au Calvaire – La Croix blanche
IX. Le Crucifiement ou Les Trois Croix
X. Le Sang et l’eau
XI. L’Ensevelissement ou La Mise au tombeau
XII. La Garde du tombeau ou Le Tombeau gardé
XIII. Le Tombeau vide ou Le Tombeau ouvert

 

XIV. Le Message de l’ange ou Matin de Pâques

XV. L’Apparition de Jésus à Marie de Magdala (L’Alléluia pascal) ou Le Jardin de Pâques
Les trois soleils de Lavaux, 1979

 

Architecture, 1980
Port la nuit, 1981

Original aquatints

Untitled or Hollande n°4, 1955
Les trois soleils, 1974
Eau- forte en rouge et violet n°23 bis, 1974
Eau-forte en bleu n°24, [1975]
Eau-forte en rouge n°25, 1975
Aquatinte en rose n°26, 1975
Eau-forte en violet n°27, 1975

Illustrated books

Cantiques spirituels de Saint Jean de la Croix, 1958

 

Présentation de la Beauce à Notre-Dame de Chartres, 1964
Cymbalum, 1973
L’Enfant dans la cité des ombres, 1978

 

 

Élégie pour Martin Luther King, 1978

Interpretation and reproduction prints

Frontispice (sans titre), 1954

 

 

Lumière crépusculaire I, 1959
Le Verdon, 1959
Sans titre, [Été] – [Petit paysage espagnol], 1967

 

Vive flamme ou La Flamme vive, [1973]
La Construction de l’Arche (1946), 1974

 

 

L’Otage, 1988
Hiver, 1970
Alléluia, 1981