Sophisticated Colouring Album
Bruxelles, Edition de l’Art Décoratif C. Dangotte, Collection du Petit Artiste, [Imprimerie J.-E. Goossens], 1918.
Large 4to (331 x 240 mm), loose as issued in publisher’s chemise, front cover illustrated in original lithography, in morocco-backed chemise and slipcase by Atelier Devauchelle. (4) pp. 10 original lithographed plates, of which 5 in colour and 5 in black (intended to be coloured by a child). Complete.
First and only edition.
One of 100 deluxe copies on Japan paper numbered and signed by the artist.
Beautiful colouring album by the celebrated Belgian artist Léon Spilliaert (1881-1946) on the theme of winter pleasures. It was published by the artist to celebrate the birth of his daughter on 15 November 1917.
Spilliaert was born in Ostend, the oldest of seven children. From childhood he displayed an interest in art and drawing. A prolific doodler and autodidact, he was predominantly a self taught artist. Sickly and reclusive, he spent most of his youth sketching scenes of ordinary life and the Belgian countryside. When he was 21 he went to work in Brussels for Edmond Deman, the progressive publisher of the works of symbolist writers, which Spilliaert was to illustrate. He especially admired the work of Edgar Allan Poe. Watercolour, gouache, and charcoal were the means by which he produced much of his best work, including a number of self-portraits executed in black crayon in the early years of the twentieth century. A significant influence on Spilliaert was Odilon Redon, whose expressive use of black finds parallels in his own work. Frequently depicting a lone figure in a dreamlike space, Spilliaert’s paintings convey a sense of melancholy and silence. His later work shows a concentration on seascapes.
A fine copy.
Very desirable indeed.
Ref. Norbert Hostyn, Léon Spilliaert. Vie et œuvre, 2006, 122 / Xavier Tricot, Léon Spilliaert, Estampes et illustrations, 1994, 18 / 7th European Social Science History Conference Lisbon, (march 2008) : Educational reform from a micro- analytical point of view. Belgian intellectuals and New Education in practice (1900-1930) / Not in Die Bilderwelt im Kinderbuch, Catalogue of the Cotsen Children’s Library, Olivier Piffault, Babar, Harry Potter & Cie (BnF)
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