Thursday, April 14, 2011

Five and a Half Women in Search of a Good Time

by Stephen J. Gertz

Hand-colored heliogravure by Charles Hérouard aka Herric
From Le Libertinage du retroussé par G. Donville
Paris, Aux galants passe-temps [Jean Fort], 1937.
Not in Pia. Dutel not consulted.
Hand-colored heliogravure by Charles Hérouard aka Herric
From Le Libertinage du retroussé par G. Donville
Paris, Aux galants passe-temps [Jean Fort], 1937.
Hand-colored heliogravure by Charles Hérouard aka Herric
From Le Libertinage du retroussé par G. Donville
Paris, Aux galants passe-temps [Jean Fort], 1937.

"Little seems to be known about [the] publisher [of the above images] Jean Fort.  We do know that he was the nephew of Pierre Fort, a Paris bookseller and publisher who was active from c.1896 until c.1905 (it appears Louis Chaubard took over the shop in 1911). Following his Uncle's footsteps, Fort began his own publishing career in c.1901, from the Paris address of 73 Faubourg Poissonniere.

"Fort published under many different imprints; some openly published, some published clandestinely. From his Faubourg Poissonniere address in 1907 until c.1921 he primarily used the imprint 'Jean Fort' or 'J. Fort' but between 1910 - 1913 he also published a few books under the imprints, 'Bibliothèque des deux hémisphères' and 'Sweetgra's Quebec'. Betweem c.1921 and c.1925 Fort set up shop of 39 rue de Chabrol and then 12 rue de Chabrol, staying only a couple of years at each address during which he publishing a few books with the imprint 'Libraire du bon vieux temps'.

"In c.1925 Fort moved again, this time setting up shop at 79 rue de Vaugirard where he remained until c.1939. From Vaugirard he began publishing under the imprints of 'Au Cabinet du Livre' and the better known imprint of 'Collection des Orties Blanches', a series of flagellation novels. While it seems the majority of Fort's earlier publications were unillustrated these flagellation books often contained explicit engravings by some of the top erotica illustrators of the time: Jim Black [Luc Lafnet], Louis Malteste, Herric [Herouard], and Martin Van Maele" (Straight, Sheryl, Erotica Bibliophile).

Illustration by Jean-Gabriel Daragnès
From La Tentation de Saint Antoine by Gustave Flaubert.
Paris: J.-G. Daragnès, 1942.
Monod 4711. Carteret, IV, 161. Karaiskakis  343.

Jean-Gabriel Daragnès (1886-1950) was highly regarded both as a printmaker of wood engravings and etchings  and also as a master printer of other artists' work. Daragnès was born in Bordeaux; his father was a carpenter. From 1900-1905 Daragnès was apprenticed to a silversmith as an engraver. In 1907, having completed his military service, Jean-Gabriel Daragnès went to Paris, dreaming of a life as a Bohemian painter in Montmartre. In order to survive, he took on all kinds of work, and soon turned from landscape painting to printmaking and the art of the book. Daragnès was not mobilised for WWI as he suffered from tuberculosis. After the war he wanted to found his own press.
"By dint of selling everything he possessed, Daragnès raised enough money to build a house at 14, avenue Junot in Montmarte, to his own plans, with a printroom on the ground floor, a painting and printmaking studio on the first floor, and living quarters above. There Daragnés published some of the most beautiful books of the twentieth century, and also established a literary and artistic salon, whose members included Francis Carco, Pierre Mac Orlan, Colette, Léon-Paul Fargue, Noël Bureau, and Paul Valéry. It was Daragnès who taught Valéry the art of etching" (Neil Philip, Idbury Prints).

Illustration by Umberto Brunelleschi
from Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.
Paris: Gilbert jeune, Librairie d'amateurs, 1953.
Monod 4682.

Italian artist Umberto Brunelleschi (1879 - 1949)  studied at the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Florence and moved to Paris in 1900  where he soon established himself as a printer, book illustrator, set and costume designer.

He worked for Le Rire as a caricaturist and was a contributor to many of the deluxe French fashion publications including Journal des Dames et Des Modes, Gazette du Bon Ton and Les Feuillets d'Art. Brunelleschi was also the artistic director of the short lived but significant La Guirlande d'art et de la litterature 1919-1920.
In the 1920s he diversified into set and costume designs for the Folies Bergère, the Casino de Paris, the Théâtre du Châtelet and theaters in New York, Germany, and in his native country. He created costumes for Josephine Baker. 

His illustrated books include Voltaire (Candide, 1933), Charles Perrault (Contes du temps jadis,1912), Musset (La Nuit Vénitienne), Goethe, Diderot (Les Bijoux indiscrets, etc.), Les Masques et les personnages de la Comedie Italienne, 1914; Phili ou Par dela le Bien et le Mal," 1921; Le Radjah de Mazulipatam," 1925; Le Malheureux Petit Voyage, 1926; and Les Aventures de Roi Pausole, 1930.
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All images courtesy of Julien Mannoni Livres Anciens, with our thanks.

A tip o' the hat to our old friends Sheryl Straight and Neil Philip.
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1 comment:

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