Boutet, Henri

1851 – 1919

Boutet’s work epitomizes the genre “La Parisienne”. From simple shop girls to sophisticated ladies, Boutet captured their common qualities of coquettishness and femininity to the point where he was nicknamed “le Petit Maitre au corset (the Master of the corset)”!

His initial success came from his portrayals of pretty women using fine printing techniques such as etching, drypoint and engraving. These prints were often limited to an edition of 20 examples. As he became more successful, Boutet changed the direction of his work to appeal to a broader market. He began to publish his own prints using a technique called the “eau-fort synthetique” which simulated the more expensive etching but was less expensive to create. He also applied his illustrative genius to commercial graphics such as magazines, menus and almanacs that are highly collectable today.

Boutet’s images sensitively but candidly capture the charm and frivolities of Paris during La Belle Epoque.