Lavish limited edition of Racine's Phèdre, the first edition with glowing color lithographs by Hugo.
Very good plus in good slipcase.
"One of the secrets of Hugo's art is his grasp of the everyday occurrence which catches no-one's attention, coupled with his ability to transpose it into something special and noteworthy." (Wattenmaker)
A beautiful edition of Racine's drama, illustrated by Jean Hugo following his earlier set and costume designs for the play's 1939 production at the Comedie Française. The artist – a frequent collaborator with Jean Cocteau, great-grandson of Victor Hugo, and onetime spouse of artist Valentine Hugo – also cut an impressive and intimidating figure in later life: "Jean Hugo was a tall, famously seductive patriarch with white hair en brosse, eyes as commanding as Casanova's, and a fondness for those wide-wale corduroy suits that arists like Courbet and Cézanne used to wear" (John Richardson).
Read more: Richardson, The Sorcerer's Apprentice; Richard Wattenmaker, The Art of Jean Hugo.
First printing. (Paris): Éditions Pierre Tisné, (1946). 11'' x 8.5''. Original paper wrappers, portfolio style (i.e. unbound gatherings), as issued. In original paper-covered clamshell box. Lithographs by Mourlot Frères. Edition of 436, of which 400 numbered copies were printed on vélin Lana Bélier; this copy no. 140. Text in French. 122,  pages. Moderate foxing to wrappers. Some foxing and bits of staining to box, wear at joints.
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