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Adolphe Théodore Jules Martial Potémont
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An etcher and painter, Adolphe Théodore Jules Martial Potémont, who used the pseudonym Martial, is known for his etched views of Paris and its people. He studied under Léon Cogniet (1794-1880) and Félix Saturnin Brissot de Warville (1818-1892). Martial prepared suites of etchings and provided etched illustrations to journals and exhibited paintings. He exhibited at the Salons from 1846 until 1882. Martial’s large œuvre included 300 etched views of old Paris (published 1862-1866) before its reconstruction under Emperor Napoleon III (1803-1873). He based some of these prints on earlier photographs or drawings, creating images long after the destruction of the buildings portrayed. A member of Alfred Cadart’s (1828-1875) Société des Aqua-fortistes (Society of Etchers), Martial contributed to the portfolios of prints published in 1863, 1864 and 1865. Martial produced several collections of prints, including depictions of the Salons of 1865, 1866 and 1868. His etched views of Paris include a striking 1867 image of the exterior of Alfred Cadart’s gallery, the home of the Société des Aqua-fortistes (Beraldi 2). He published sets of prints in 1871 depicting Paris and its inhabitants during the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune under such titles as Paris pendant le siege, Paris sous la Commune and Paris incendié (Beraldi 11, 15 and 16). He also published descriptions of the Expositions Universelle of 1867 and 1878 illustrated with his own drawings (Beraldi 3 and 21). In 1873 he published a book on etching techniques. (TNB 5/2010) Selected bibliography: Bailly-Herzberg, Janine. Dictionnaire de l’estampe en France, 1830–1950, pp. 215-216. Paris: Arts et Métiers Graphiques, 1985. Bénézit, Emmanuel. Dictionary of Artists, vol. 11, pp. 269-270. Paris: Gründ, 2006.