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About the journal

Nouvelles de l’estampe is the only french-speaking academic journal on printed images and printmaking, publishing the best illustrated papers on prints and printmaking from the origins to nowadays (research papers, historical documents, reviews…). Contemporary art is also an important part of the content, through presentation and interviews.

Nouvelles de l'estampe was founded in 1963 by Jean Adhémar. Being both director of the Bibliothèque Nationale Prints and Drawings Department (Cabinet des estampes) and editor-in-chief of Gazette des beaux-arts, Adhémar was at the centre of the booming world of printmaking and could easily get information of interest to a wide audience. He therefore decided to found a monthly mimeographed information paper within the National Library. However, since this institution could not officially publish Nouvelles de l'estampe, Adhémar entrusted the task to the Comité national de la gravure française, of which he was an influential member.

He explained “My situation was [...] paradoxical: through the Gazette and through my contacts, I found myself in possession of all the possible information, and those concerning my profession, my greatest interest, were of no use to me. That's when I came up with the idea of the Nouvelles [de l’estampe], a kind of liaison newsletter. I therefore decided to publish it under the aegis of the National Engraving Committee [Comité national de la gravure française], where I found significant moral support but no financial support. So I came out of my own authority and with a few prodigies of ingenuity a magazine sent free of charge, twelve issues a year.”

Just as the Prints and Drawings Department works on printmaking without any distinction of period or use, the journal seeks to highlight any information on prints from its origins to the present day, combining historical research and contemporary creation. It must also be a meeting place for the different worlds that revolve around engraving: curators and academics, of course, but also artists, publishers, merchants, experts, printers, etc.

In 1972, Michel Melot, a young curator of the Cabinet des Estampes, succeeded Adhémar as editor-in-chief of Nouvelles de l'estampe. He transformed the information sheet into a real journal, which publishes studies and articles on printmaking and engraving from the origins to the present day, while continuing its role as a news report. It is then bimonthly. The journal therefore remains - until today! - closely linked to the National Library, which provides premises and an editor-in-chief, while nominally dependent on an independent learned society.

After Michel Melot came Marcelle Elgrishi-Gautrot (1981-1988), Marianne Grivel (now professor at Sorbonne Université, 1988-1991), Gérard Sourd (1991-2010), who introduced thematic issues and an editorial board. Over the years, the journal has published various prints on contemporary creation, notably by Pierre Alechinsky, Jean-Luc Parant (2006), Jean-Michel Alberola (2009), François Houtin (2013), etc.

Rémi Mathis, curator in charge of the 17th century collections in the Département des Estampes, has been editor-in-chief since 2010. The journal, now in full colour, becomes quarterly: its academic character is then affirmed. Several events are organized (symposium on the 50th anniversary of the journal in 2013, special issue for #250, auction of the print collections of the Comité national de la gravure française, participation in the Nuit blanche – the main public contemporary art event of Paris...).

The “Comité national de la gravure française” was renamed “Comité national de l'estampe” in 2012 and Rémi Mathis founded their book publishing activity, directly linked to the journal: a collection ("tirés à part") includes articles already published in the Nouvelles, highlighted individually, and another one ("après la lettre") is dedicated to ancient and unknown texts on engraving, presented and put into context by specialists.

Nouvelles de l'estampe is published with the support of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The journal is, among others, taken into account by the Bibliography of the history of art (Getty Research Institute) and the Bibliographie de l'histoire de France (CNRS).

The journal is also OpenAccess Green, meaning that authors can freely distribute their texts in the publisher's version - without any restriction.

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