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L’art du papier découpé

Felicitas Oehle

The sub-title adds “Cinq siècles d’histoire” (Five centuries of history). Indeed, the first canivets (paper cut out with very sharp pocket knives –canifs- hence their name) date back to the beginning of the XVIth century. The book draws up an exhaustive panorama of this type of minor but fascinating genre. This minute type of work occupied Spanish nuns as well as Dutch bourgeois ladies or Swiss sheperdesses. Many of these works remained anonymous but a few names have survived such as that of Jean Huber (1721-1786), the founder of the Swiss school, or Johann Hauswirth, the creator of a classic motif, the climb up to the high mountain pastures. Prayers, wishes of happiness, love letters and even school reports have generated remarkable exercises. It is quite surprising to the see the current vitality in the genre, represented by artists such as Werner Gunterswiler, Heinz Pfister or Regina Martin.

L’art du papier découpé par Felicitas Oehler, Ides et Calendes, 2013, 254 p., €29

L’art du papier découpé - Felicitas Oehle

Review published in the newsletter #319 - from 24 October 2013 to 30 October 2013

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