La Parisienne. Peinte par elle-même. Vingt et une pointes sèches tirées hors texte et quarante et un compositions par Henry Somm.
Item ID 71677
Paris, L. Conquet, 1897. Large 8vo (25.5 x 16.4 cm). Half-title, frontispiece, title page in red and black; vi [i.e. ii], 200 pp. 41 engravings in the text (head and tail pieces), and 21 full page etchings (all by Somm; including frontispiece). Contemporary full dark green morocco by Charles Meunier, with Art Nouveau floral inlays on the boards and inner borders. Silken, Japonism floral-patterned endpapers, marbled flyleaves, double blanks. All edges gilt. Original wrappers, including spine cover (printed on floral-pattered silk) bound in. In matching (original) marbled slipcase with dark green morocco edges and velvet interior (26.8 x 18.3 x 4.0 cm). An exquisitely bound copy of a finely illustrated work on the women of Paris. The impeccable binding with gilt, green and brown floral inlays is by the highly esteemed Parisian Art Nouveau bookbinder Charles Meunier (1866-1948), and dated 98. Meunier is famous for creating "bindings that harmonized with the works themes, drawing on a vast repertory of motifs and symbols from botany, zoology, architecture, theology and mythology" (W. Z. Silverman, The New Bibliopolis: French Book Collectors and the Culture of Print, 1880-1914). His bindings are much sought-after. Georges Montorgueil is a nom de plume of the Parisian journalist and author Octave Lebesgue (1857-1933). In fact, Lebesque was better known as Montorgueil, under which name he published his best and most widely known works. The illustrations are by the French (post) impressionist painter François-Clément Sommier (1844-1907), better known as Henry Somm, who was essential in developing the Femme fatale -type. He "...was actually an important transitional artist between Impressionism and Symbolism. In his art ideas of fashion, feminism and a type of romantic orientalism were developed over a twenty-year period that can be documented by his prodiguous output in illustrated journals...the private life of Henry Somm remains a mystery...It is clear that he sought and achieved a certain amount of anonymity... " (A. M. Tymieniecka, The reincarnating mind, or the ontopoietic outburst in creative virtualities harmonisations and attunement in cognition, the fine arts, literature phenomenology of life and the human creative condition ). This number 135 of a limited edition of 150 signed copies on Dutch (Van Gelder) wove paper. This edition should not be confused with an edition illustrated by Henri Boutet, published in the same year by Floury. Slight rubbing to the slipcase; the book itself in mint condition.