Auguste Brouet French (1872-1941)
Auguste Brouet (1872-1941) printmaker and illustrator, was born to indigent parents living in Montmartre, the artistic quarter of Paris, and he remained in Paris his entire life. He was apprenticed first to a lithographic printer and then to a lute maker but between the ages of thirteen and fifteen he attended evening classes in drawing. Brouet entered the École des Beaux-Arts at the age of sixteen years old studying first at atelier Élie Delaunay and then with Auguste Delâtre, the master printer who introduced him to printmaking. His first etchings were copies of works by Turner, Corot, Chardin and Whistler.
Brouet produced over 300 etchings and drypoints recording the people and places of Montmartre, the circus, and the soldiers of World War I. He is considered to be one of the finest original etchers of early twentieth century French Art.
Marcel Valotaire wrote the following on Brouet in1920 in The International Studio:
At the age of sixteen he made his first attempt at etching, using as his sole implement a nail, and as his plate a scrap of zinc gutter-pipe with a ground— if one may so call it—of floor polish. The proof obtained from a single biting of this little plate, Les petits Joueurs de Dis, is quite remarkable, and arrests attention because it immediately reminds one of Rembrandt, although at that time the youthful debutant was completely unaware of the great Dutch master’s existence as an etcher, and certainly had never seen one of his etchings. Thus from this early beginning as an aquafortist, Brouet has remained himself, and his manner and style are borrowed from no one, but are peculiarly his own.