by GRANDVILLE, J.J. (pseud. of Jean-Ignace-Isidore Gerard) | DELORD, Taxile |
1844. first edition. Grandvilles Visions and Nocturnal Transformations [GRANDVILLE, J.J., illustrator]. [DELORD, Taxile]. Un Autre Monde. Transformations, visions, incarnations, ascensions, locomotions, explorations, pérégrinations, excursions, stations, cosmogonies, fantasmagories, réveries, folatreries, facéties, lubies, métamorphoses, zoomorphoses, lithomorphoses, métempsycoses, apothéoses et autres choses. Paris: H. Fournier, 1844. First edition. Quarto (10 1/8 x 7 1/2 inches; 257 x 191 mm.). , 295,  pp. Wood-engraved frontispiece and text illustrations (four head-pieces, thirteen tail-pieces, 116 vignettes, and fifteen full-page vignettes) and thirty-six hand-colored wood-engraved plates. Title-page printed in red. Bound without the half-title.Mid twentieth-century half dark green calf over green cloth boards ruled in blind. Spine with five shallow raised bands, decoratively tooled in gilt in compartments, red morocco label lettered in gilt, top edge stained green. Some scattered foxing, mainly to text, the thirty-six hand colored plates bright and fresh. A very good copy.Originally issued in thirty-six parts between February and November 1843. In this remarkable book, of the boldest possible originality, Grandville dared to reveal his dream world to the public. He wrote to his publisher: What will be the title of these compositions? Transformation? Distortion? Reordering of dreams? Nightmare? Or indeed harmonic metamorphosis during sleep? But here is the true title I believe Visions and nocturnal transformations. (Quoted by Garcin, p. 26.) His visions take many forms. There are experiments in perspective. In one sequence an optical illusion gives the reader a birds-eye view, thus enabling Grandville to show at once a daughters love encounter and her fathers unawareness of it (p. 26). In another, humanity is seen as if reflected by distorting mirrors. In Psychological Disguises the upper half of each figure is what appears to the observer, the lower suggests what he or she is in reality: polished gentleman and ruffian, pious woman and lorette. The Vegetable Revolution parodies the French penchant for violence. An April Visit presents the bank of a stream with fish holding out lines to catch men. A trip to the zoo offers monsters as grotesque as any conceived by Bruegel or Bosch; witness the pit of doublivores (p. 112). Still more striking are certain of Granvilles full-page plates, peregrinations of a comet (opposite p. 95), for example, or the battle of the cards (opposite p. 247), which was surely in Tenniels remembrance when he made his designs for Alice in Wonderland. Grandville once explained how these visions formed in his mind: In my opinion one never dreams of an object of which one has not had sight or the thought when one was awake. And it is the combination of these various objects seen in the minds eye often at considerable distances that form the ensembles, so strange and eccentric, of the dream (quoted by Garcin, p. 28) (Ray). Ray, The Art of the French Illustrated Book, 196. Vicaire III, cols. 132-133. (Inventory #: 03792)
English, American and European Literature, Children's Books, Color-Plate Books, Illustrated Books, Early Printed Books, Private Press Books, Fine Bindings, Original Artwork, High Spot Modern First Editions.
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