An Apoux etching from around 1882

Apoux grew up in the small town of Le Blanc, some 150 miles south of Paris, and moved to the capital in 1875 to study painting and drawing with Jean-Léon Gérôme. He specialised in aquatint and drypoint etching, started exhibiting in 1880, and participated in the Exposition Internationale du Blanc et Noir (International Exhibition of Black and White) in 1886. His work was much in demand, and the well-known print-sellers Joly and René Pincebourde published many of his albums.

His most popular suites of engravings were tinged with a macabre eroticism, including images of witches, vampires and death masks. He was also a good painter, but unfortunately many of his best canvases depicting scenes of family life were destroyed by him just before he died, quite probably because it would have made clear that his household consisted of his first cousin Clarisse Camus and their three children.

 

Example illustration