Identify a drawing: "Ne buvez? jamais d'eau" : LUSENET : Art Deco Society of Washington : One Thread

I have a charcoal and pastel drawing of a little boy urinating into a pond, with fish and frogs scattering. The title is "Ne buvez? jamais d'eau", and the signature is unreadable, maybe Serges Rajon? Reportedly, it was obtained in Paris, perhaps in the 20's or 30's.....any help at all would be appreciated.

-- Mark Friedman (, January 24, 2001


Hi! I hope this will be of some help to you. I have a copy of the drawing to which you are referring. I obtained it at "Le Rive Gauche" in Washington, DC in the early 1970's. I had always thought it was a fun drawing and it has been framed and used in every bath or powder room in every home I have lived in since the '70's! The first time I saw this was at the home of my dearest and oldest friend, whose mother obtained it also from a menu in Paris, probably in the late 1940's to 1950's, when they lived there. I cannot read the first name of the artist, but the last name is definitely "Reson". I hope this helps you. I am also looking for a similar drawing, maybe by the same artist, called "Les affaires sont lest affaires". Again, I saw this in the home of another friend many years later. She told me she obtained it an an antique flea market type of place. This was in the early 1980's. Have you ever seen "Les Affaires sont les affaires"? Do you happen to know the artist? The picture as I recall it is of a little girl seated upon a chamber pot, hence the title. She may be reading a newspaper. I can no longer remember, but I always thought it was the perfect mate to the little boy. Thanks for your help! Connie

-- Connie (, September 08, 2001.

Well, after sending an e-mail to the 2 people in this thread, I got the bb to accept my reply. For anyone else having this problem - identifying the artist etc - it's Georges Redon, not easily deciphered from his writing! Good luck!


-- Kevin Kaley (, November 06, 2001.

I have a copy of a drawing from a restaurant in Miami Beach, "Le Parisienne". I have it in my recreation room behind my bar...I will not havee guests who drink water.

-- Charly Burruano (, December 12, 2001.

I have one in my bathroom that's entitled, "l'eau n'est pas bonne a' autre chose" (roughly translated, "the only thing water is good for"). It depicts a woman holding a baby upside down under a spigot. I found it at a flea market about 5-6 years ago. I never could figure out the artist's name... it looked like Iojio Rejon to me. Guess it's the same guy.

-- Lisa Karabatsos (, December 15, 2001.

While researching the history of "Ne buvez jamais d'eau" I found this discussion. For info about the painting, go to

-- Craig Goldwyn (, December 19, 2001.

My grandmother had the picture of a boy urinating into a pond with the title, "Ne buvex jamais d'eau." Years later, around 1979, I went to Paris and bought a copy for about ten dollars from a seller on the quays, and gave it to my father, who unfortunately lost it in a move. He said his mother's came from a menu, a wine list, of a restaurant in Paris. I wish I could find another one! John

-- John (, January 02, 2002.

the artist is georges redon (18969-1943), a french illustrator. researching through, i found a menu cover redon did for a paris cafe in the early 1900's, a world war II french patriotic poster as well as "ne buvez jamais d'eau" here. i have colored prints of "ne buvez jamais d'eau", "l'eau n'est pas bonne a autre chose" and "la poule mange les escargots" (the chicken eats snails). latter depicts a sleeping boy with a snail on his bare rear, with a chicken watching the snail. i have not been able to date redon's children prints. the "serbian crown" restaurant in great falls, va. has a print signed "redon" on the wall near the restrooms; that print is of french cafe society and appears to date from the early 1900's. it may also be a menu cover.

-- eg swicker (, February 02, 2002.

I think the most famous of the Georges Redon prints is the little boy peeing on a tree or pond. However, through the years I have collected much more prints by the artist. A great deal of his works is on menus. I will start selling the prints very soon but I really don't know what they are worth. All are framed. They are just adorable.

-- Hilda Hartzman (, April 23, 2002.

yeah, I'm seeing more and more around as I have become more attuned to them. I have only one that I found, nicely framed. I can't really remember what I paid for it, but I think it was around $25.

-- Lisa Karabatsos (, April 23, 2002.

I too have that very same painting of the little boy.I would like more info on the artist.Also does it have any value?

-- pat walker (, April 27, 2002.

I have a drawing of 3 girls ( 2 white 1 black ) one girl is powdering here face the other girl drops bye whith flowers and the black girl is carring a hat box. "pour flaire aux lommes c,est du travail" 1927 .. I know my grandmother got it when here girlfriend died . i know she was married to a rich guy and went to paris often . On the back theres a menu off a restaurant on the ch. Elysees ( cafe de Paris Pre Catelan Armenonville Fouquets.

If anybody can tell my more about the painter i would be very happy. Christiaan Schulte

-- christiaan schulte (, May 27, 2002.

While working part time at a self storage facility in Hermosa Beach, California I found two Georges Redon (thrown in a dumpster). I have been trying to find more about them too. Both are from the Cafe De Paris, Fouquet, Armenonville, Pre Catelan. Both depict sleeping children. One is lying face down with a snail on its backside and the chicken ready to peck. "La Poule Mange Les Escargots". The other shows a male child lying on his back with a duck peering closely at his "manhood". The caption reads "La Cannard Mange Les Limaces". They are framed in my dining room and I just love them and show them to all my guests. The old menu on the back is exposed with glass also because it is so unique. Thank you all for sharing your Redon stories..........Best Regards, Frank Nigro

-- Frank Nigro (, August 24, 2002.

I have two of the prints. One is a little girl is standing under a shower head, another little child is holding a cat and another child is spraying the cat with a water hose. The second picture is one girl is powdering her nose while another child is spraying her behind with a water hose. One little girl is sitting in the floor putting makeup on. My aunt got these two pictures from a hotel in Paris that burnt down. Does anyone have any information as to the value, if any, of these prints? Thanks, Deb

-- Debbie Kucko (, October 20, 2002.

I live in France and I have also 3 drawing of Georges Redon. On the Back I can read the Menu of the 20 September but I do not have the year. There is an adress of Atelier Georges Redon 63, rue Nollet in Paris write on the left down corner. My great grand father was Maitre d'Hotel in Le Café de Paris I think he took the drawings. it seems that 3 Restaurants used these drawings : . Café de Paris . Pré Catelan . Armenonville

-- Mme Girard (, December 15, 2002.

I also Have A Redon Print? The boy peeing on a tree "Ce que c'est pratique" Probably gonna run it on Ebay..

-- Dale Teeter (, December 26, 2002.

I own an original Litho of "ne buvez jamais d'eau", however I am not sure what the value of the piece is.. has anyone come across a market for his Lithographs? This isn't a poster or a menu front... so I am sure that it must have a higher value...

-- Andrew Goff (, January 05, 2003.

My Redon print is an original and not a poster or a menu front and I purchased it for about $25 at a flea market.

-- Lisa Karabatsos (, January 06, 2003.

I have another Georges Redon print called 'Emotion' of a little boy giving a flower to a little girl who is holding up her skirt displaying a bare frontal view -- not very politically correct in this day and age of concern about child pornography. The print is copyrighted by Redon and dated 1939. I inherited the picture from a great aunt who died five years ago at age 95.

-- Sari Shernofsky (, January 12, 2003.

HAVING CONSULTED WITH WILLIAM S. WILSON ABOUT THIS PRINT which is from DEANIE'S WOODSTOCK, N.Y. wee BELIEVE THE TRANSLATIONS IS TO BE NOT QUIET ACCURATE; " Ne buvez jamais d'eau " may indeed be translated.:. NEVER DRINK WATER ...however if you aim just right it could be NEVER SSIP WATER. Thanks for your understanding, if you are ever on the beach with Ray Johnson look me up. Bye ! Deliveray buy UPS Around of 7up 4 BiLLL...

-- RAIN RIEN NEVERMIND (, February 10, 2003.

i have three delightful prints the snail on the wee boys behind# the duck peering down at the wee boys willie# and the famous peeing in the pond of fish and frogs all very humorous and topical its been great reading all the information about mr radon whom is not only a talented artist but gives people a little cheer when they look upon his drawings billy and mary shaw Edinburgh Scotland.

-- billy shaw (, February 19, 2003.

I have four of these prints that I am selling. They are all framed and matted but can be sold with the frames. They are not copies, but I do believe they are originals. They are the charcoal and pastel and seem to be done on a parchment type paper that has rough edges. There is no copywright or stamp on them at all. Does anyone know where to find out about originals vs. copies? The ones I have are The girl holding a doll while a little boy pees under the tree (Ce que c'est pratique!), The Girl sitting on the chamber pot reading, (Les affaires sont les affaires), The little boy handing flowers to a little girl who has her dress lifted up, (Emotions), and the little boy peeing in the water from the edge of a bank and the fish swimming away, (Ne buvez jamais d'eau).... (Never drink water). Please let me know if you have any info for me! Thank you!!

-- Connie Prevallet (, March 18, 2003.

All persons on this site are talking about "Ne buvez? jamais d'eau". I have a charcoal and pastel drawing with a little boy walking away from a watersource with his hands crossed as he has to go to the toilet very necessary. It says: "Il a bu de l'eau". Is this an earlier version? It is framed and I cannot say if it is a menu.

-- Philomeen Wessels (, May 12, 2003.

I don't know about the prints you are discussing. I have been looking around for information about Georges Redon and this is the first time I've seen others talking about him.

I too have what I think are original prints--two of them. One is a little girl with an overly large hat on holding a hoop of some kind. She is squatting down and talking to a German Shepard. The caption underneath reads in french... "Espece d'idiot!...les chiens ca joue pas au cerceau!! It is signed by Georges Redon and in the upper right hand corner it says it is copyrighted by the artist in 1926.

The other is also a little girl talking to a dog with a teddy bear and some other toys strewn on the floor--and she seems as though she is ready to pull her underpants down. The caption reads "tu pourrais garder tes puces???? not sure of the last word. This also has written on the upper right hand corner that is is copyrighted by "Les Artisted Modernes 5, rue Scribe, Paris 1927.

They are both charcoal with some coloring and are framed in black frames. My grandfather got from Europe somehow. I'm not quite sure. Gave them to my mother and now I have them. I too love them. They are adorable.

I took them once to an appraiser who said they weren't worth much...I'm not sure he knew what he was talking about.

If anyone else has seen these sketches somewhere please let me know.

-- Vasi Malatesta (, June 03, 2003.

OK, I finally found a site where the discussion is about these pieces. I would have never figured out the Artist's name by looking at the "print". I am calling it a print, but it could be an original. I have two. One "ce que c'est pratique" and "Ah! les Hommes". They are both framed by the same person and I wish I knew more. I bought them at a thrift store and may have paid too much, but I like them and I hope to potentially profit from them at some point.

If all of you think that you have originals, like I do it seems highly unlikely....were these done in some kind of printing process that makes them appear original? I wish I knew....Well, I will bookmark this site so I know where to find a discussion and potentially some breakthrough....

-- Jackson Mather (, June 14, 2003.

OK, hello again...found a bit of info. Here it is:

George Redon born in Paris on 16 November 1869, died in 1943; engraver, lithographer, draughtsman humorist.

Was painting restaurant menus at the turn of the century... prices for some repros of his work range from $15 -$100, for various reasons. Care to contact me do so....ciao

-- Jackson Mather (, June 14, 2003.

I just made a purchase of 7 Redon prints housed in very old frames. I think I paid too much but I fell in love with them. They appear to be original lithographs but I'm not certain. The artist's signature is made with a graphite pencil. The prints are dated 1912. What is intersting is the theme of the prints: the 7 deadly sins. Redon uses children, greek mythology characters and of course anilmals as his subjects. The titles of the prints are as follows: L'Intemperance. La Luxure L'Orgueil L'Avarice La Paresse (Le mal aux cheveux et le poil dams pamain) La Colere LiEnvie If anyone has any info as to where I might learn more about the artist, kindly email me at

-- Sal LoNero (, July 31, 2003.

i also have one print/litho, framed, and also thought i wouldn't find anything one it.....this site/posting is a weath of information!! ok,so now i'm hooked! would like a few/collection. anyone wanna sell? e-m me with description and price!

-- elise (, August 03, 2003.

I also have two copies by Redon. One of the boy urinating on a tree while a little girl with her doll look on. It says Ce que c'est pratique " How Practical." It is made in U.S.A. 1928 Camilla Luras N.Y.C. U.S.A. The other copy is of the little boy with only a big hat on and a duck looking at his penis copyright 1931 by Camilla's. It says Le cvanard mange les limaies (the duck after the worms.) Would like to find out more about these. They were a gift and are not on a minue.

-- Joyce Tindall (, August 25, 2003.

I've got a gallery in Art & Antiques, called ART @ HOME and recently bought an original aquarel made by Cornelis Jetzes in 1904 with exactly the same image as the litho ne buvez jamais d'eau everybody is writing about. It was easy for me to compare both scenes because one week ago someone came in with the well known coloured litho signed with " H.Bezon " as far as I could figure out with exactly the same size too! The aquarel is signed in paint on the front side in the lower left corner with: "C.Jetzes 04 " meaning 1904 and in pencil on the back saying: "sans gene" NOw I think either one of the next two possibillities is the real story: 1 Jetzes aquarel was made first in 1904 and would then have been the model for the advertising image for some wine, liquor or some kind of french booz or 2 Jetzes was the one copying the imgae from some poster or menu card; as he was a tea todler any reference to alcoholic drinks was out of the question so he invented his own, quite appropriate and suitable new title " sans gene" Because as far as I can understand in both cases we talk about the early 1900 years the only final answer can only be found in case someone bought or saw the lithographic image by Redon/Bezon? before the year 1904 It is important to know that Cornelis Jetzes was quite famous and very well known in these dauys because he not only illustrated the in Holland very popular series of books about " Ot en Sien " ( written for children ) but also huge illustrations of f.i. the life of the farmer during all seasons from which there were made numerous colour lithographs mounted on cardboard that were hangin in almst every elementary school in the Netherlands. So the possibility that during one of his early shows of original illustrations, drawings and paintings this "sans gene" image was on show too and seen by the French artist is absolutely realistic and feasable.

-- anton van gemert (, October 20, 2003.

When I married 48 yrs. ago, my two sisters-in-law had Georges Redon prints. They told me they had bought them while in France some years before. They knew how much I liked them and about 15 yrs. later when one of my nieces travelled to France her Mother asked her to buy me some. Where she made the purchase I don't know but I do know that there were menu's on the reverse side. The prints are: 1. A small girl sitting on a pot looking at pictures on the floor in front of her, titled "Les affaires sont ses affaires"; 2.A girl sitting on a day bed dressed in hat, coat and leggings, looking into a small mirror and a boy dressed in coat, hat and leggings holding the collar of a dog, title "Ah les femmes; 3. A girl with her gloved finger in her mouth watching a boy in hat and coat, his scooter propped against a tree "peeing". I would dearly love to be able buy at least two more different ones, but since I am a geriatric and not likely to get to France again (never thought to look for them whenever I was there) I would appreciate hearing from anyone interested in selling. It is great fun to find that others feel as I do and I am so glad I found out so much about Redon; he seems generally unknown to the "art" world.

-- Rose S. Rogers (, October 26, 2003.

A colleague of mine just bought a post-WWI poster by Georges Redon, numbered and signed. He seems to have paid for it around 200 USD - no idea whether this was the right price, it was auctioned.

Theme is "contribute so that our children never know the horror of war" (approximate translation), and it shows an Alsacian woman with a baby in her arms. It is a Société Générale issue.

The best source for info about Georges Redon is probably Bibliothèque Forney in Paris.

-- Jean-Pierre (, October 30, 2003.

I have a drawing by George Reson "Ce Que C'est Pratique" a little girl dressed in 20 to 40 syle clothing watching a boy taking break by a tree, with his scooter leaned against the tree. My question is how do you know if it is a lithograph or a real drawing. There is no copyrights, no dates no markings other than the signature and title. I took the picture out of the frame, and when you rub my fingers over the picture, some of the charcoal rubs off on your fingers, and the picture is raised in some places. Are lithogragphs suspose to be smooth like a picture?? Or could this be a orginal drawing?? If anyone can tell me, I would love to know.

I did research the artist George Reson, and Sotheby's auctioned a George Reson lithograph "Ce Que C'est Pratique" on September 13, 1998 Lot# 1073 for $143.00 USD. Size 10 1/4 X 15 in.

-- Lavonna Allen (, November 07, 2003.

I also have several Redon prints hanging in my house. They all came from my mother's family from Paris (where she was born and raised). They are as follows:

Ne buvez jamais d'eau

La poule mange les escargots (No. 22)

Le canard mange les limaces

Il voulait faire pipi dans la marmite!

Les affaires sont les affaires (No. 27, copyright Jaubert & Cie.)

So probably $150 tops? Was always curious. thanks.

-- Robin Hoover (, November 08, 2003.

Hi. I am able to contribute further to this discussion...I bought an old drawing of a girl being frightened by a dog. The word at the bottom is 'Camarade' and it is far more detailed and shaded than the illustration on Redon's 'Biscuit Brun" illustration. I am in New Zealand.

Upon reframing it,I discovered it is an original charcoal and pastel drawing. I wouldn't want to sell it on because it's a really sweet picture to have but I'm fascinated to hear more about Redon. The antique shop thought it was a print or a copy and it was cheap but in a terribly old frame and behind filthy glass. It's dated 1923.

-- kate watson (, November 10, 2003.

I too have a couple of redon prints. I am very interested in purchasing originals of any type. My husband had collected a few from paris and lost them to a family squabble. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

-- sherry Hines (, November 11, 2003.

I too have a charcoal and pastel copy of a drawing of a naked little boy under a large hat with a duck out to get him! It is not on a menu, but on parchment with a copywrite date of 1931 By Camilla's in the left corner. On the bottom right it has "number 1520 made in USA" It is in an old broken wooden frame. Know anything about copies that are numbered?

-- Janice Gochneaur (, November 24, 2003.

I just recieved a print of "The Duck after the Worms" copywrite 1931, No. 1520. It was purchased at an Antiques mall by a friend for me for Christmas. Having found this site I now would love to have a copy of the one with the snail and the chicken. Does anyone have a print they might part with. Does anyone know what value these are?

-- Tristan Alexander (, December 24, 2003.

ha ha, we too have THE original 'EMOTION' by this artist 'georges redon' and copyrighted 1939. pastel and charcoal on parchment with the boy offering the posy to the little girl. thanks for helping to identify. (may sell if the offer's right)

-- anne marie mcdonald (, March 21, 2004.

Finally! I also have found a copywright of the little boy peeing on the tree with his scooter leaning on it's side, while the little girl holding a doll watches. Paid $5.00 at a flea market. Just last week in CT. I found an "original"? little girl on the chamber pot! Paid $110.00 but had to have it. Very different looking from the other first find. So how does one know if it's an original or not if we all seem to have pristine charcoal drawings? Glad you could clear up the last name; I kept reading Reson, not Redon. Thanks. I am madly in love with the prints.

-- patsy kattermann (, April 28, 2004.

I just purchased a Georges Redon, of the little boy peeing in the pond, while the fish & frogs are trying to swim away. Ne bunez jamais d'eau. My picture appears to be an impression in Sepia tones, the frog jumping out of the water, which he is choking, is green. Upper right hand corner, within the impression is a copyright 1926, Lecaplain & Cie Editeurs Paris. Measurment without frame is 12 inches wide by 16 inches high. Artist's signature is unreadable in lower right corner. All of the information that has been posted has helped me to identify the artist and any and all information will be appreciated. THANKS! Oh by the way, only paid 5.00 from a picker.

-- b. carter (, May 19, 2004.

I have four charcoal and pastel drawings by Georges Redon. I would like to know where I can find some information on these drawings and how much they are worth. I aquried them when I bought a house and they were left. I have the boy urinating in the pond and the frog throwing up. I have the mother holing her child upside down and washing her bottom with the shower water running on her behind. I also have one where a child is laying on the ground and a duck is looking at the childs private area. The last one I have is a child laying on his stomach and a chicken is is looking at his butt. They are in great condition and I would like to know what they are worth and get information on them. If you can help please let me know.

-- (, June 27, 2004.

Thanks to all for your insight about George Redon.

I have six prints that my ex-husband's grandfather brought back from Paris around 1950. They were all framed in Lakewood, Ohio, where the family lived, so he must have purchased them unframed. They are in good condition and appear to be prints. Only two are copyrighted unless the matting covers the mark, which is unlikely.

All of them have been mentioned by others so I won't describe them again. Ne buvez jamais d'eau @1926 by Lecaplain, Paris Emotion @1939 by the artist Ce que c'est pratique Il a bu de l'eau La poule mange les escargots L'eau n'est pas bonne a autre chose

Like many of you, I use them as bathroom art. They're delightful and continuing amusement to all, including me. I have no idea of their value but that hardly matters as I intend to pass them on to my sons as part of their family heritage.

Margaret (formerly Hines) Cullison

-- Margaret Cullison (, August 26, 2004.

I live in France and I have just purchased a Georges Redon's lithograph, of the little boy peeing in the pond, while the fish & frogs are trying to swim away. "Ne buvez jamais d'eau". My picture is an impression in Sepia tones, the frog jumping out of the water, which he is choking, is green. Upper right hand corner, within the impression is a copyright 1926, Lecaplain & Cie Editeurs Paris. Measurment without frame is 12 inches wide by 16 inches high. The particularity is that this drawing is dedicated by the author. I really don't know what it is worth (may sell if the offer's right)

-- p. cassan (, October 19, 2004.

I own one Redon, bought by my grandfather, probably in the 1930's, I would be interested in buying more...

-- Elaine Hayes (, December 08, 2004.

I have a print of the baby under the spiket on some form of stationary from the Sevilla Biltmore Hotel in Havana Cuba. It has a raised SB crest on the heavy paper. The script on the print is la' seule utiilite' de l 'eau. Any information would be appreciated. I see that the same print has been reproduced with different sayings.,

-- Cindy (, December 15, 2004.

For my husband, Georges Redon was the father of his gran father. We have at this time many drawings and paintting of him. If someone is interested, contact us; Best regards CArolina Redon

-- caroline Redon (, December 19, 2004.

Wow! Am I delighted to find the info on Georges Redon prints. I purchased the child with the humungous hat and the visiting duck doing a "penis Peak." It is copyright 1931 by Camilla and was bought at auction about ten years ago. It is in excellent condition and has been framed. We love it but have no idea of its value. Can anybody help? Thanks!

-- jackie yarn (, February 06, 2005.

I own a copy of this lovely picture- "Ne buvez jamais d'eau". My copy looks like an original sketch in colourful blues (trousers), greens(frog/bushes) and yellows (boy's hat), but it is probably a litho right?

I was convinced for years that the signature was 'H Bezon" until I saw this page...

The picture was professionally framed many years ago so I cannot get any more info from it.

Is it possible I have an original drawing (how do I tell?) -?


-- ben sumner (, February 06, 2005.

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