E.P. & L. Restein Still Life 1874


[Still life.]  Washington: E.P. & L. Restein, 1874. Chromolithograph.  24 x 29 1/2.  Mounted on board as issued.  Some minor surface wear; overall, very good condition.  Framed.

SKU: 5-42016-2 Categories: ,


An original antique print by E.P. and L. Restein.  Edmund Prosper and Louis Restein were sons of lithographer James Restein.  Born in France in 1837 and ca. 1838 respectively, they immigrated with their family to Philadelphia in 1852, where their father worked for the lithographic firm of P.S. Duval.  Peters says it was in that shop that Edmund and Louis were first trained.  Later the father and sons both worked for the lampshade and lithograph manufacturer V. Quarre & Co.  Beginning about 1858, Edmund worked for chromolithographers Alphonse Brett and L.N. Rosenthal, before he went into partnership with his brother and William Stott as “E.P. & L. Restein & Co.,” shade manufacturers.  They then worked as a chromolithographic firm from about 1864 to 1912, run after the death of the brothers in the early 1890s by Edmund’s wife Rebecca.

The firm specialized in novelties and frameable chromolithographic prints like this one.  Chromolithography had developed by the 1870s into a process used to create prints which were supposed to duplicate the appearance of oil paintings, but at much cheaper prices, bringing “art” into the homes of the middle classes.  This is an ambitious example of the Restein’s work in this area.  It is a charming still-life featuring a wonderful goldfish bow in the center.  While not of the quality of their more famous competitor, Louis Prang, the Restein print is rarer and in its own way just as delightful as any chromolithographic in this period of what has been called the “Chromo civilization.”