Creative energy burst forth from printmakers’ studios in France during the second half of the nineteenth century, as artists such as Rodolphe Bresdin, Félix Hilaire Buhot, Odilon Redon, and Félix Vallotton pushed the medium in new directions. In conjunction with the Legion of Honor’s exhibition of the same name, Fantaisie Franҫaise: Prints from the Vanderryn Collection presents the inimitable works assembled by Jack and Margrit Vanderryn, Bay Area residents and longtime print collectors who in 2018 began the process of giving their extensive collection to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. As depicted in this volume, the works selected for Fantaisie Franҫaise memorialize exchanges between visual artists and literary figures and present dynamic artistic reflections on a changing modern age. Whether focused on the changing conditions of urban life or constructing nostalgic views of the countryside, these artists approached their intaglio, relief, and planographic work with both technical acumen and imaginative zeal.
Colleen Terry is associate curator of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. She is the author of Artful Animals (2013) and co-editor of Summer of Love: Art, Fashion, and Rock and Roll (2017). She has also contributed to such catalogues as Ed Ruscha and the Great American West (2016) and Jewel City: Art from San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition (2015).