Sunday, December 03, 2023

Canson Infinity

Over 400 years of History in the Making:

Canson Art Papers In Annonay, France, the Canson paper mill has been making the finest art papers in the world for nearly 450 years. Descendants of the founding Montgolfier family work today in the Rhone Valley mill where the company first produced paper in 1557.

Canson’s history tells the story of the development of fine papermaking, and includes such milestones as the manufacture of the first French vellum in 1777, and the first use of the hollander for pulp beating in 1781. But the company’s most high-flown accomplishment came in 1783, when brothers Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier invented the hot-air balloon -- fabricated of paper! These achievements earned the Montgolfier company Louis XVI’s appointment as “Royal Manufacturer.”

The Montgolfier tradition of invention continued from generation to generation. In 1807, Napoleon awarded a patent to the Montgolfiers for a pulp coloring process. The company developed tracing paper in 1809. The first high performance papermaking machinery in France was in use here by 1822. In 1827, a Montgolfier son-in-law named Canson patented a technique for incorporating sizing into paper.

Today Canson manufactures more than 100 types of paper of different textures, weights, contents, and colors, for specific uses in fine art, technical art, and drafting. These include such brand names as Arches, BFK Rives, Arches 88, Moulin Du Gue, Johannot, Ingres MBM, En-tout-cas, Mi-Teintes, Montval, Vidalon, Colorline, Effects, and Expressions.

With expertise gleaned over four centuries of continuous operation and capabilities delivered by the latest technologies, Canson craftspeople produce longlasting papers of consistent quality, manufactured acid-free and without optical bleaches. These papers have been relied upon by artists such as Delacroix, Van Gogh, Matisse, and Picasso to enhance and preserve their work.


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