Paris: Chez Hy. Gaugain et Cie…et chez E. Ardit, 1828. Item #05198
Monnier’s “Theatrical Gallery”
A Very Unusual Example with the Plates in Two States - Colored and Plain
[MONNIER, Henry, illustrator]. Galerie Théâtrale. Paris: Chez Hy. Gaugain et Cie.…et chez E. Ardit, [n.d., 1828].
Oblong folio. (10 3/8 x 14 inches; 263 x 355 mm.). Twenty-four numbered hand-colored plates lithographed by E. Ardit and H. Gaugain. Bound together with an additional uncolored suite of the plates. Two original brown paper pictorial front wrappers bound in and one slightly shorter example laid in. Plates Plates 13 through 24 with triangular embossed stamp of E. Ardit, Paris in the lower margin. Uncolored plates nos. 10 & 12 with small brown stain (1/2 inch x 1/2 inch) on lower margins and uncolored plate no. 15 with light marginal waterstain to top right corner (not affecting image). Some very light foxing affecting uncolored plates only.
Bound by Pagnant ca. 1925 in three-quarter red straight-grain morocco over red pebbled cloth ruled in gilt. Smooth spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers top edge gilt. Joints a little rubbed. With the bookplate of renowned French collector and bibliographer Claude Rebeyrat (Un Autre Monde) on front paste-down. A superb copy of this amusing view of Parisian Theatre in the early nineteenth century.
OCLC locates just four copies in libraries and institutions worldwide: The Morgan Library & Museum (NY, USA); University of Chicago (IL, USA), University of Nortgh Carolina, Chapel Hill (NC, USA) and Toronto Public Library (ON, CA).
“As a boy Monnier had been fond of fairs and popular entertainments, and in maturity he was fascinated by everything having to do with the stage. In this engaging album he offers an informal view of the theatrical life of his time, ranging from strolling acrobats and sideshows to the ballet and classical tragedy. Only an occasional performance is depicted; for the most part he is content to show actors at the side-scenes and backstage, together with a variety of other people associated with the theatre. Monnier’s command of this little world is authoritative, and he presents it with vivacity” (Ray, The Art of the French Illustrated Book).
“The theme of the street entertainer was popular with lithographers, although with the notable exception of Daumier, their miserable state was not often depicted…Monnier, a playwright and actor as well as a draftsman, included this low theatrical form in his Galerie théâtrale, which is otherwise devoted to scenes of actors, rehearsals, and back-stage life of the indoor legitimate theatre” (Beatrice Farwell, The Charged Image, p. 112, describing Pl. 1. “Sauteurs”).
3. “Une Débutante”
4. “Une Queue”
5. “Un Foyer”
6. “Le derrière de la toile”
7. “Une loge”
8. “Un Comité de Lecture”
9. “Un Paradis”
10. “Une indisposition”
11. “Une représentation”
12. “Mamans de comédie”
13. “Chef d’emploi”
15. “Une Répétition”
16. “Le Corps des ballets”
17. “Troupe ambulante”
19. “un ancien camarade”
20. “Un Parterre”
21. “Comedie Bourgeoise. (le mariage de figaro)”
22. “Le Bienfaiteurs”
23. “Une grande Coquette”
24. “Leçon de déclamation”
Bobins III, 974; Ray, The Art of the French Illustrated Book, 135. Marie 275-295.