Paris: Lami Denozan, 1826. Item #04640
Eugene Lami's Exceptionally Rare First Account of his Visit to England in 1826
Including Two Wonderful Scenes of a 'Cock Fight' and a 'Boxing Match'
LAMI, Eugène, illustrator. Souvenirs de Londres. Paris: Lami Denozan, 1826.
First edition. Large oblong quarto (10 1/8 x 13 5/8 inches; 258 x 346 mm.). Twelve fine hand-colored lithograph plates.
Early twentieth century red cloth, front cover with green morocco label decoratively bordered and lettered in gilt, green morocco spine label ruled and lettered in gilt. Publisher's brown wrappers printed in black bound in. A few scattered light marginal stains, still a very fine example of this exceptionally rare title.
Very scarce. OCLC locates just two copies in libraries and institutions worldwide: The Morgan Library and Museum, NY. (the Michael Sadleir/Gordon Ray copy) and Yale University Library, CT. (the Abbey copy).
Eugène Louis Lami (1800-1890) was a French painter, watercolorist, lithographer, illustrator and designer. He was a painter of fashionable Paris during the period of the July Monarchy and the Second French Empire and also made history paintings and illustrations for books such as Gil Blas and Manon Lescaut .
“This elegant and brilliant painter devoted much of his time to lithography between 1817 and 1833. The son of an Empire bureaucrat, [Lami] grew up in Paris. Beginning in 1815, he studied painting with Horace Vernet and afterwards in the studio of Baron Gros…To support himself he made lithographs for several albums, including in 1822 a Collection des uniformes des armées françaises, de 1791 à 1814…Lami paid his first visit to England in 1826, during which he drew the sketches which resulted in his Souvenirs de Londres… under [Henry Monnier’s] guidance [he] comprehensively explored London and the countryside. Indeed, Monnier provided more than a third of the twenty-eight designs which make up Lami’s finest album, the Voyage en Angleterre. It is here that for the first time Lami struck his distinctive note in lithography. These precise and sparkling plates, which show England in its most attractive aspects, brought the lithographic recording of the passing scene to an unprecedented level of grace and refinement. Lami’s Tribulations de gens à équipages of 1827 and Six quartiers de Paris…treat French subjects in the same manner…After Lami gained recognition as a painter, he became a frequenter of the fashionable world, which he rendered with sympathy and brio. His chief albums of this kind are the charming Vie de château, published in two series in 1828 and 1833, and the Quadrille de Marie Stuart”
"This album of twelve small lithographs is best regarded as a trial run for the masterly Voyage en Angleterre. After a short visit to England in 1826, Lami set down the hasty impressions of a tourist who has glimpsed some of the obvious sights. The besetting fault of the series is crowding too many figures into the picture. Hence, subjects limited in scope, like the cock fight and the boxing match, yield Lami his best results." (Ray, The Art of the French Illustrated Book, pp.