Somewhere or other Stendhal mocked the Jardin des Tuileries for being a superficial imitation of Italian style. (I can't remember exactly what he said). All the same, with its self-conscious swags and fountains, its singing and light-heartedness and grace of manner, it strikes me that Paris is a Latin city just like Nice (for instance) and what I like about Lill Tschudi's French linocuts is how much of a Latin she became while in Paris and Jeu de boules (1934) sums up exactly what I mean.
She was thorough when she came to make her linocuts. Scale drawings and studies in gouache or watercolour survive for a number of them and what is interesting is how much the sense of scale and perspective changed once she translated the image into linocut and the textures of the printing were left to speak for themselves. But something got to her in Paris and I think the French linocuts are Tschudi at her best.
Apparently, she saw an exhibition of Norbertine Bresslern Roth's prints while still a girl at home in Switzerland and it was then she decided she, too, would turn into a maker of stylish linocuts but first London and then Paris got in the way. In the early thirties she went off to take Claude Flight's now famous weekly class in linocut at the Grosvenor School of Modern Art in London. Flight certainly had a way with him when it came to students following his 'I belong to no school' example but Tschudi survived his rather doctrinaire approach and, as you can see from Jeu de boules, she was able to combine the flat, rhythmic designs of the typical Grosvenor linocut with a strict sense of space, perspective and original form of which Georges Seurat had been the modern master. What Seurat didn't have but what Jeu de boules does is a representation of Gallic masculine posture. And it absolutely oozes concentration.
So, how many teachers did she need? Severini was based part of the time in Rome and part of the time in Paris and I don't know anything about his classes or if he gave any. Andre Lhote was a decorative cubist and ran his own academy that attracted many artists of talent (and showed commitment by continuing to teach during the German occupation of Paris). But most famous of them all was Fernand Leger, very noticeable on the internet nowadays for the almost endless series of photographic portraits that testify to his physical presence and allure. And it is all very French (and Italian) and you wonder to what extent these three different men were as much models as teachers because the actual subject of Tschudi's French prints is the male form, pure and simple. They sing, they dance, they do the Twist.
What I am also saying is that she was taking on ideas and I think her considerable achievement was to make prints that are buoyant, colourful but that make sense simply because she had thought them out. She isn't the engineer that Leger was; nor does she have the cool beauty of Severini, but she can move us around her pictures with skill and conviction. It's always an interesting journey, we don't trip over too much stylisation and we see the male form from various angles. Its cubism with gusto, that's what it is.