Henri Somm

1844 – 1907

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Born François Clément (Henri) Sommier, the artist adopted an abbreviated surname and often signed himself “Henry”, “Hy Somm”, or simply “Hy S”, as on this particularly fine proof impression. An impassioned collector of Japanese art, Henri Somm was a close friend of the famous critic and art collector, Phillipe Burty. Influenced by the style of J.J. Tissot, Henri Somm’s work follows two distinct sources of inspiration: the Japonism prevalent in Paris towards the end of the nineteenth century and the elegant Parisian ladies of the Belle Époque. In his finest works Henri Somm demonstrates an absolute mastery of drypoint technique which places him amongst the great original printmakers of the Parisian Belle Époque.