Félix Hilaire Buhot was a French painter and illustrator who is credited with having produced some of the most original prints made in France during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Along with artists like Charles Jacque, Louis Monziès and Félix Bracquemond, he revived seventeenth-century etching techniques in late nineteenth-century art. However, he was highly experimental and regularly employed technical variables and combined multiple processes to produce a single print. He used traditional techniques of etching, drypoint, and aquatint alongside modern methods such as photomechanical reproduction. Buhot’s most notable contribution to the history of printmaking is a device he termed "marges symphoniques" (symphonic margins). Inspired by the marginal decorations of medieval manuscripts and eighteenth-century French book illustrations, Buhot developed two types of margins, etching the first on the same plate as the central subject and printing the second, called a “false margin,” from a separate plate.
In his many prints of city views and seascapes, Buhot was intent on creating a specific atmosphere, especially the effects of weather such as rain, snow, mist, and fog. He turned to his immediate neighbourhood in and around the Boulevard de Clichy in Montmartre, Paris, for inspiration and delighted in portraying the varied street life of the vibrant capital city.
With his experimental printmaking techniques, Buhot became one of the best-known, admired, and collected printmakers of his day. He achieved success for his prints at the annual Salons between 1875 and 1886, and a number of his works were published in leading periodicals and books. He also found critical acclaim and support for his prints in the United States, especially after his first one-man exhibition organised by the New York print dealer Frederick Keppel in 1888.