Jean-Pierre Stholl in 1975

The French painter and lithographer Jean-Pierre Stholl grew up in Ermont in the northern suburbs of Paris, and having shown early promise as an artist was only twenty when he took part in his first collective exhibition in Paris in 1968, followed a year later by a solo exhibition in Tokyo. His favoured style at the time, dreamy naked women with large eyes in mottled ethereal settings, proved extremely popular, and the publisher Eric Losfeld, who had already proved with his books of Raymond Bertrand artworks that it was a very saleable theme, commissioned Stholl to produce more than a hundred drawings for a companion volume.

This was Stholl’s gateway to the world of book illustration, and for the next ten years he produced prints for editions of Hans Christian Andersen, Beauty and the Beast, Marcel Aymé’s La vouivre (The Wyvern), Baudelaire’s Les fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil), and Mirabeau’s Le rideau levé (The Curtain Lifted).

During the late 1970s and early 80s, the publisher Michel Sorano and his Éditions Phimag published a series of illustrated books with extracts from well-known authors – Goethe, Victor Hugo, Nerval, Baudelaire, Verlaine and Rimbaud – accompanied by Stholl prints.

After the 1980s Jean-Pierre Stholl turned away from erotic figure drawing to concentrate on the natural world, producing an impressive series featuring trees and forests, and more recently an extensive portfolio of coastal seascapes, concentrating on the forms and textures of rocks, waves and foam.

 

Example illustration