Marguerite Montaut (GAMY)

Gamy, artist's name of Marguerite Montaut Turn of the century Aviation & Racing Printmaker and wife of Ernest Montaut, who is credited with inventing many artistic techniques, including speed lines and the deliberate distortion of perspective by bending and foreshortening the image in order to create the illusion of movement and speed. Many of these techniques have stood the test of time and are still used today by artists that draw and paint transportation subjects. She produced her own works and a with her husband, also a printmaker, under the combined name of Gamy-Montaut. Ernest Montaut (1879-1909) and his wife, Marguerite (who Gamy is possibly a pseudonym for), were the first artists to capture the Heroic Age of aviation and motor racing. The Gamy-Montaut prints were produced by the pochoir process, in which the outlines for each image were drawn onto lithographic stones, printed and hand-coloured. Marguerite Montaut, Ernest's wife, joined him in his work producing not only racing prints but also developing a fine series of aviation prints commemorating such events as the first flights on the early European mail routes. While Marguerite Montaut's works were occasionally signed "M. Montaut", she also used the name "Gamy", an anagram for Magy. The Gamy-Montaut prints document various historical events in the early history of motorized transportation, including Power Boat Racing, Motorcycle and Motor Car Racing, Motor Car Touring, Zeppelins and Airplanes. Having observed the rapidly growing interest in cars and racing during the early years of motor cars, Ernest Montaut produced his first motoring prints in the mid-1890s, and by 1897, his drawings were pictorial records of the many races in France. Montaut's work was extremely well received in the Paris of his day and was shown in the fashionable shops of the Rue de l'Opera and Rue de la Paix, as well as in the better galleries. The Gamy-Montaut prints were all produced by the pochoir process in which the outlines for each image were drawn onto lithographic stones and printed. Using these uncoloured prints as a template, elaborate stencils were cut for each colour. Water-colour was then brushed onto the image through the stencil. The colouring process was quite complex, with each print taking several days to produce. It was also quite labour intensive, and the studio of Gamy-Montaut therefore employed a group of trained artists, including Nevil and Campion, to assist in the colouring. Besides his wife, other artists known to have worked for or with Montaut include Roowy, Nevil, Campion, Aldelmo, Brie, Dufourt and Jobbe du Val and we are sure that there are others!
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