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Leon Rene Pescheret

(1892 - 1971)
Leon Pescheret was born in London to French immigrant parents. His father was a highly regarded chef and cooked for Queen Victoria until her passing in 1901. In 1910 the family moved to Washington, D.C., where Pescheret’s father continued his culinary career as chef for the British Ambassador.

After service in World War I Pescheret became interested in the graphic arts and began his studies at the Art Institute of Chicago. He studied interior design with Albert Fleury and struck his first etching plate in 1926. In the mid-1930s he studied in England and Belgium and learned color etching techniques. In 1936 he settled in Whitewater, Wisconsin, and opened a studio and gallery on the town’s main street.

Pescheret began visiting the Southwest regularly in the late 1930s, spending time in Arizona, New Mexico, and old Mexico. He began producing prints of southwestern subjects, often utilizing the soft ground etching and aquatint techniques. He was a proponent of making artwork available to the general public at affordable prices and generally produced six new plates per year of which he struck 200 prints each.

Pescheret’s depiction of the famed San Francisco de Asis church at Ranchos de Taos is notable both for its fine detail (individual adobe bricks can be discerned beneath the weathered mud stucco of the church’s monumental rear buttress) and the unusual vertical elongation of the building.

Pescheret relocated permanently to Tucson in 1967.

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