Train d’Epinal (France)

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This is a French 19C print from Epinal. It was printed in black and white, with the colour added, by hand, afterwards.

Epinal (in the Vosges mountains of Eastern France) was the historic centre for the production of wood-cuts.

These images, cut in a rough and ready manner, were usually of religious scenes or, after the Revolution of 1789, of moments of national import.

During the 19C, the production of popular images, based on the traditional wood-cut, was extended to educational subjects and toys.

Paper soldiers, available in balck and white, and with coloured uniforms, were sold by the sheet.

The arrival of the train in provincial France, during the 1860s, was recognised as a key moment of modernisation.

Images of railway trains and their passengers were displayed as an explicit appeal to modernity.

The major publisher of these popular prints in Epinal was Pellegrin.

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