Paris: Chez Aubert & Cie., 1851. Item #05268
'The Unpleasantries of a Pleasure Trip'
First Edition of Gustave Doré's Second Album
DORÉ, Gustave,Illustrator. Des-Agréments d'un Voyage d'Agrément. Paris: Chez Aubert et Cie., .
First edition of Gustave Doré's second album.
Oblong folio. (10 1/8 x 12 7/8 inches; 255 x 326 mm). Lithographed title and 175 illustrations on 24 plates of multiple cartoon vignettes. Eight-page publisher's catalog bound in at end.
Bound ca. 1880 in quarter maroon straight-grain morocco over red pebbled-grain cloth boards, smooth spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt, later plain endpapers. With the engraved bookplate of F.M. Caye on front paste-down. Some very light mainly marginal foxing otherwise very clean. An excellent copy of a very early and rare Doré album.
"By 1851, Doré had more time on his hands, with the completion of formal schooling. That year he did two more satirical lithographic albums, or comic books… The first of these was a spoof of tourism. Des-Agrements d'un Voyage d'Agrement basically means "The Unpleasantries of a Pleasure Trip". It was also oblong, but whereas Hercules was about 6 1/2 x 10 with 105 illustrations on 46 pages, Des-Agrements was about 10 1/2 x 14 with 175 illustrations on 24 pages… Doré, like film directors of the 1920s, was coming up with new artistic devices, with new angles and overlapping scenes and perspectives. Kunzle (p.122) also points out how cinematic Doré was, in a scene where tourists interact with poets, lost in contemplation:
This particular episode is one of the most cinematic Doré ever devised, showing in quick succession six similar scenes, three in medium and three in close-up view, of the progressively crumbling ruin. The terror of the tourist is contrasted with the composure of two German poets, who become literally rooted to a free-hanging segment of the topmost arch - an emblem of romantic aloofness and a loftily precarious existence. Other graphically innovative sequences...
Des-Agrements was the culmination of three years of poking fun at tourists in the pages of Journal pour Rire. Keep in mind that young Gustave had spent his childhood in serious interaction with nature, and he divided travelers into two groups - those who independently interact with nature, and novices completely dependent on guides and resorts. Doré spared no expense in making fun of the latter. In the former category, Doré never lost his love of nature, in his travels in Alsace, in the Alps, in the Pyrenees, in the Scottish Highlands, etc.… There were only three undated editions of Des-Agrements, all from the 1850s, the only difference between them being the names and addresses of the publishers on the cover - Aubert, then deVresse, then Fechoz & Letouzey.
We cannot leave Des-Agrements without mention of the scene where the tourists happen upon a great young artist who is creating an enormous landscape painting out in the woods. The artist is, of course, Gustave Doré. His ego could easily reconcile shameless self-promotion, at a time when he was arguing with friends about his claimed status as a great artist, and ironically when he was also arguing with them about his lack of need to paint from nature, that he had everything he needed in his memory. Anyway, his treatment of an aspiring artist in Des-Agements was in sharp contrast to his other book that came out at the same time - Trois Artistes - Incompris et Mecontents." (Dan Malan. Gustave Doré adrift on dreams of splendor. p.25).
Gosling, p. 105; LeBlanc, 62; Madan, p.25.