Large Paper Copy

[DESCHAMPS, Léon, director]

La Plume, revue littéraire, artistique et sociale. N°155 : l'affiche internationale illustrée.

Paris, La Plume [Annonay, Imprimerie et Lithographie J. Royer], 1st October 1895.

4to, in sheets loose as issued in the original illustrated cover printed in gold and black, unopened. (53) pp. [pp. 409-462], illustrations in black in the text, 4 loose plates in black (“Supplément à La Plume du 1er octobre 1895”). Complete.

First and only edition, one of a few large paper copies on Japanese paper.

Texts by Octave Uzanne, Edward Bella, Henri Albert, Ascanio, Roger Braun, Charles Saunier, Adolphe Retté, Sainte-Claire, Achille Segard, etc. The issue features posters by Beardsley, Bradley, Donnay, Hardy, Grasset, Penfield, Dardenne, Rassenfosse, Carqueville, Hankar, Crespin, Crane, Wood, Walton, Laskowsky, Rhead, and many others.

Special issue on the international poster by one of the most influential French fin-de-siècle revues.

Léon Deschamps championed poetry above all but was also important in promoting the Art Nouveau artists Mucha, Chéret, de Feure, Grasset, Ensor, Degas, G. Moreau, etc. When Deschamps founded La Plume in 1889, his main focus was poetry, and although his preference was for the poetry of Les Décadents, he also published work by the Symbolists, Romantics and others and sought contributions from young, unknown poets. Success for the magazine required further material, and Deschamps increased the artistic content of the magazine, devoting a series of issues to Art Nouveau subjects and artists (Rops, Mucha and Ensor in particular), Japonisme, the poster, the current Salons and so on. Deschamps furthered the artistic side of the magazine with a permanent running exhibition at the offices of La Plume in the rue Bonaparte, Le Salon des Cent, featuring work by contemporary artists: Chéret, de Feure, Mucha, Grasset, Ensor, Degas, Moreau, Boutet, Lalique and Berthon. With a new exhibition every two months, some 57 exhibitions were put on between 1894 and 1900. Combined with literary evenings, banquets, a publishing house and a bookshop, these exhibitions helped maintain awareness of La Plume and ensured its high circulation (Sims Reed). Between 1893 and 1899, La Plume was one of the first French journals to offer a real critical discourse on the illustrated poster, confronting it with the leading artistic debates of that time (the questioning of the hierarchy between fine arts and decorative arts, the place of art within society etc.). The journal also participated actively in the development of “affichomanie” [postermania] by launching the Salon des Cent and by producing new posters designed by some of the greatest artists of the time (Mucha, Grasset, Ibels, Bonnard.) to promote it. La Plume thus rapidly became one of the most important factors in the recognition of the illustrated poster’s artistic value (Nicholas-Henri Zmelty, Le discours critique de la revue La Plume sur l’affiche illustrée (1893-1899), 2007).

A fine copy.