Paris: Calman Lévy, Éditeur, 1886. Item #03855
With Thirty Fine Watercolors by French Caricaturist Arsène Henri Saint-Alary
Handsomely bound by Henri Joseph Pierson
CLARETIE, Jules. SAINT-ALARY, Arsène Henri, artist. Le Drapeau. [The Flag] Ouvrage couronné par L'Acedémie Francaise. Paris: Calman Lévy, Éditeur, 1886.
One of twenty-five copies printed on Papier du Japon (this copy No. 18). This copy beautifully illustrated in the margins of the text by thirty very fine original drawings by French caricaturist Arsène Henri Saint-Alary, thirteen in full color, seventeen in blue or brown sepia, all signed "H. de Sta."
Small quarto (7 5/8 x 5 1/2 inches; 193 x 140 mm.). iv, 126, [1, imprint), [1, blank] pp.
Bound ca. 1890 by Henri Joseph Pierson (stamp signed on verso of front free end-paper) in three quarter red morocco over marbled boards ruled in gilt. Smooth spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt, marbled end-papers, top edge gilt, others uncut. A very fine example.
Jules Arsène Arnaud Claretie (1840-1913) was a French literary figure and director of the Théâtre Français. He was born at Limoges. After studying at the lycée Bonaparte in Paris, he became a journalist, achieving great success as dramatic critic to Le Figaro and to the Opinion Nationale. He was a newspaper correspondent during the Franco-Prussian War, and during the Paris Commune acted as staff-officer in the National Guard. In 1885 he became director of the Théâtre Français, and from that time devoted his time chiefly to its administration until his death. During the battle for Octave Mirbeau's comedy Les affaires sont les affaires (Business is business), the Comité de Lecture was abolished, in October 1901, and Jules Claretie became the only person responsible for choosing the modern plays to be performed. He was elected a member of the Académie française in 1888, and took his seat in February 1889, being received by Ernest Renan.
Arsène Henri Saint-Alary (1846-1920). French illustrator Henri de Sta was born in Versailles as Arsène Henri Saint-Alary. He began his career around 1882 with La Vie Artistique and the publishing house of Léon Vanier. Coming from a military family, garrison life became a regular theme in his career. De Sta worked as a humorous illustrator for Le Chat Noir after 1892. He was also present in Le Paris Bouffon (1885), Le Rire (1897) and Le Charivari (1900). He composed military alphabets, illustrated songs and produced comics for La Chronique Amusante from 1896, and for Les Contes Moraux et Merveilleux of the printing firm Pellerin d'Epinal.
Besides being present in satirical magazines, he was also drawing extensively for children's books. His work can be seen in La Semaine de Suzette between 1905 and 1905, drawing picture stories that often starred an elephant named Toby. He also drew for Le Petit Journal Illustré de la Jeunesse. He was a member of the Society of Cartoonists under the chairmanship of Léandre and Steinlen.
Henri Joseph Pierson was a late nineteenth century Parisian bookbinder whose fine work rivaled that of Michel, Canapé and Trautz.