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Ludovic Lepic



Vicomte Ludovic Lepic is perhaps best known for his famous friendship with Impressionist artists and his frequent appearances in the works of Edgar Degas. Yet, he was also an artist in his own right and an inventor of his own etching technique. Born on December 17, 1839, Ludovic Lepic was an aristocrat who chose to pursue art instead of a military career. In his youth, he studied under several instructors, including the artist Charles Verlat, who taught him etching. Ludovic Lepic was one of the founding members of the Society of Etchers in 1862, and in 1863 would display his large etchings of dogs in the Salon. Ludovic Lepic would regularly display at the Salon– near annually– for the rest of his life. In 1865 Ludovic Lepic married Joséphine de Barral, who hailed from an aristocratic military family, yet he would maintain a relationship with his mistress Marie Sanlaville. By the time of his marriage, he was working as an experimental printmaker, and by 1867 he had developed the etching technique of his own invention, known as “changeable” or “variable etching.” The technique involved using a singular etched plate, yet spreading the ink and selectively wiping it with a rag to produce a selection of different images from the same plate. In 1872, Ludovic Lepic helped to plan the first Impressionist exhibition and maintained a friendship with multiple of the artists of the movement, though he chose to display with the Salon instead of the Impressionists. He also continued to travel, shifting the focus of his art from animals to marine and landscape scenes and using his travel as inspiration. Ludovic Lepic died on October 27, 1889.

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