MIRBEAU, Octave. Auguste RODIN, illustrator. ~ Le Jardin des supplices, avec un dessin en couleur de Auguste Rodin, imprimé par A. Clot. Paris: [L. Mertheux for] Charpentier et Fasquelle, 1899.
Large 8vo (245 × 155 mm), pp. , xxviii, 327. Coloured lithograph frontispiece. Slightly later tan morocco, preserving upper cover of original cream wrapper. Slight staining to morocco spine. A very good copy.
FIRST EDITION, number 148 of 150 numbered copies on vélin de cuve, with the superb colour frontispiece by Rodin printed by lithographer Auguste Clot, who later also printed the deluxe edition of 1902 with its sequence of 20 Rodin plates. Mirbeau’s novel, The Torture Garden was guaranteed to shock, with its violent and pornographic satire on the state of European politics in the Dreyfus era, and sardonic dedication, ‘Aux Prêtres, aux Soldats, aux Juges, aux Hommes, qui éduquent, dirigent, gouvernent les hommes, ces pages de Meurtre et de Sang’. Rodin was a loyal champion of Mirbeau, even after the scandal proviked by this novel, and he went on to extend the modest single illustration of this first edition into a complete sequence of 20 plates for the 1902 edition.