Fables de La Fontaine

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1947
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This copy, found at a Strasbourg flea market table, is surprising. Our collection already includes four different copies of this book with various differences. Those all include a date of 1949. This copy has a copyright of 1947 on its title-page. Its cover is like one of those other four, except that the embossing on its red front cover is done here in gold, not black. The short tribute to La Fontaine facing the first full-page colored illustration of the poet with a variety of animals is done here in blue, not black. Several of the black-and-white partial-page illustrations are colored, perhaps by hand, like FG (42) and "The Two Pigeons" (45). The last page credits not "La Photolith" but rather "M. Déchaux" with printing the book. I will include comments from that copy: A special feature of this book of one hundred and five fables is the full-page photolithographs by Auger. I find sixteen in all, including a good frontispiece (5) of La Fontaine and the animals and a good last page of GGE (192). Three others strike me as very good: TT (13); "Le Chat, la Belette et le petit Lapin" (121); and "Le Vieillard & ses Enfants" (185). I find the style typical of 50's art: Disneyesque, spirited, sentimental, and colorful. There is a touch of Dufy here. Bodemann, who seems to find only fifteen full-page colored illustrations, is not as positive as I am about this art. Let me quote some of Bodemann's assessment: "Die ganzseitigen Darstellungen bilderbuchhaft: Protagonisten meist in voller Bildhoehe mit ein oder zwei detailliert beschriebenen, groesseren Gegenstaenden als Kulissen in Szenen mit zirkusaehnlicher Wirkung; Tiere mit uebertrieben-schelmischer, naiver Mimik in Bewegungsmomenten (Lauf, Sprung o. ae.), Menschen ueberdimensional schmal oder breit, mit nervoeser Mimik und Gestik und emotionsbestimmter Haltung." See my later printing of this work under 1949/1962.
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