First edition, this copy one of 236 on vélin des Papeteries de Rives (total edition 270).more...
Rare and striking, this is an early production by this Russian exile, anarchist-sympathiser and wood engraver. The colouring on every page is the work of pochoir-master Jean Saudé. Having arrived in Paris 1909, Lébédeff soon settled in Montparnasse and began learning the art and craft of wood engraving. He mixed in heady circles, coming to know Picabia, Maïakovski, Ravel, Pierre Mac Orlan, Satie, Cendrars, Modigliani and Matisse, while also providing a safe haven for other Russian exiles in Paris. He was prolific in book illustration, but his early works, such as this, are both beautiful and rare.
The tales he illustrates are: Conte du tzar Saltane; Conte du pope et de son ouvrier Balda; Conte de la princesse et des sept preux chevaliers; Conte du pêcheur et du petit poisson d'or and the Conte du coq d’or..see full details
Louis Hautecoeur (1884-1973) became an important curator, art historian and educationalist but had taught at the Institut français in St Petersburg between 1911 and 1913. These woodcuts, whether made in Russia or France, were exhibited on his return at the exhibition of the Deuxiëme groupe de Graveurs sur Bois in the spring of 1914. A printed catalogue for it is included..see full details
George Woodward, affectionately dubbed ‘Mustard George’ by his contemporaries, was one of the pioneers of English caricature.more...
Like his drinking-partner Thomas Rowlandson, Woodward absorbed high and low culture omnivorously and paid keen attention to contemporary politics.
A Political Fair is ‘a fantastic survey of the international situation’ in 1807 and is considered one of Woodward’s finest images, the print catalogue of the British Museum devoting two full pages to its complex allegories. At the heart of the fair is a large booth (‘The Best-Booth in the Fair’) representing Great Britain holding aloft on its platform images of Britannia, John Bull, together with an Irishman, Scotsman and Welsh harpist gathered convivially around a punchbowl, while a waiter sweeps into the chamber below with a vast joint of roast beef on his platter. All this was typical of Woodward’s patriotism and was intended to portray the essential unity of the nation amidst the host of clamouring figures in the neighbouring booths representing the other nations. Napoleon, in tricorn and feathers, rebuffs a disgruntled Dutchman complaining about his King with the words ‘I never change Mynheer after the goods are taken out of the Shop’. High up on the right, the American booth displays a placard advertising ‘Much ado about Nothing with the Deserter’, a reference to the friction between Britain and the United States over recent defections from British to American ships and the ban on armed British ships in American ports. The Danish booth on the left advertises ‘The English Fleet and The Devil to Pay’ in reference to the hideous bombardment of Copenhagen by the British fleet in September that year.
Musical and theatrical references abound, with many of the placards punning on the titles of plays and musical performances then showing in London: Much ado about nothing, All’s well that ends well (Shakespeare), The Padlock (Bickerstaffe), The Deserter (Dibdin), The Double Dealer (on the Russian booth, by Congreve) and The English Fleet (Dibdin again)..see full details