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The Art of Pairing

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

I am a sucker for symmetry.


It seems that, when I prepare antique and vintage prints for Fischer Arts, I inevitably start pairing them in my mind.


It is fun to think about how two pieces might come together. This habit of mine became most apparent this week, when matting these two (small but mighty) chromolithographs, both from the early 1900s.

Herring sardines

I stood back and looked at them, and fell in love: Herring and Sardines - a perfect match. And I confess: While I appreciate the natural beauty in these two pieces, I couldn't help but imagine them in a restaurant.


Then I remembered two gorgeous copperplate engravings from the 1790s that I had matted a few weeks ago. Clearly they were meant to be together.

I soon found pairs everywhere!


First, more funky early 20th century botanicals with insanely vibrant colors....

Linnaean System of Botany

Then refined, delicate copperplate botanicals from from "The Classes and Orders of the Linnaean System of Botany" from 1816.

Linnaean System of Botany

I couldn't help myself - my mind wandered back to the world of restaurants and food again. My talent for eating is legendary, and truffles and morels make my mouth water. But to be clear, these two chromolithographs are especially interesting because there is symmetry, but also great contrast.


Mycologists out there will note: the mushrooms on the left are the editable ones. Those on the right are "Giftige Pilze" - German for poisonous mushrooms!


Giftige Pilze

Beauty and color everywhere.


What joy for the eyes.


"...Nature builds up her refined and invisible architecture, with a delicacy eluding our conception, yet with a symmetry and beauty which we are never weary of admiring." - John Herschel

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