Paris: Bernard et Delarue, 1825. Item #04496
Twenty-One Hand-Colored Lithographed Plates by Henry Monnier
Exceptionally Rare Suite Including the Hand Colored Frontispiece
MONNIER, Henry. Paris Vivant. [Paris]: Bernard et Delarue, [n.d., ca. 1825].
First edition. Oblong quarto (8 3/8 x 10 3/4 inches; 216 x 272 mm.). Twenty-one hand-colored lithographed plates including untitled frontispiece, all mounted on stubs. Plates lithographed by J. Bernard. Some light spotting or browning to a few plates, otherwise fine.
Bound ca. 1925 [by René Kieffer] in half maroon straight-grain morocco over marbled boards. Spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt, marbled end-papers.
A near fine copy of this amusing view of life in Paris in the early nineteenth century.
1. [Artist sitting on roof]
2. “Les Chateaux en Espagne”
3. “Un Etudiant”
4. “Les anciens Camarades”
5. “Une bon Mère”
6. “Filles à marier;”
7. “Petit Cousin”
8. “L'Attente d'un Diner”
9. “La Romance”
10. “Un bon Mari”
12. “L'Aimable surprise”
13. “Un des Cousins à Madame”
14. “Un Parvenu”
16. “Entrée dans le monde”
17. “Le Desert”
18. “Abus de Patience”
19. “L'Espoir de sa famille”
20. “Correction paternelle”
21. “Chacun son tour”
According to OCLC there are just two copies in libraries and institutions worldwide: Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek Klassik (Germany) - giving the date as 1830; the Michael Sadleir/Gordon Ray copy at The Morgan Library & Museum (NY, USA) - giving the date as 1840 - but with only twenty plates. It would appear that neither of these copies have the plates hand-colored. We have only seen this book once before in over fifty years - that example was in the original wrappers and with just the twenty hand-colored plates (no frontispiece).
“Between 1825 and 1827 Monnier passed much of his time in London, where he collaborated with Lami in what was to become the Voyage en Angleterre. On his return to Paris he embarked on a series of albums in which he recorded the manners and humors of the city with unprecedented profusion. Between 1826 and 1830 he satisfied the insatiable demand for his designs with almost 500 lithographs, nearly all of which were drawn with a pen and colored by hand. For each design he himself colored a master print and carefully supervised its subsequent preparation…Some of the salient titles in his human comedy may be mentioned. There are potpourris like Recréations du coeur et de l’esprit, Paris vivant, and Rencontres Parisiennes. Macédoine pittoresque. There are more closely focussed surveys like Les grisettes, Moeurs administratives, Galerie théâtrale, Boutiques de Paris, and Six Quartiers de Paris. There are suites like Jadis et aujourd’hui and Les contrastes, which take their departure from comparisons in time or of manners…Monnier was a satirist with a difference. His attitude towards his subjects hardly varies. His aim was to set down what he saw with elegance and precision, but with no overt interpretation or judgment” (Ray, The Art of the French Illustrated Book, p. 199).
Marie, 321-340; Melcher, p.211.