Les Jardins Disparus Illustrated by Judith Rothchild
by Verdigris Press. Rouanet, Marie
Octon, France: Verdigris, 2000. One of eight deluxe copies from a limited edition of 50 copies, signed and numbered by author and illustrator. Deluxe copies accompanied by an original copper plate, all on Hahnemulhe paper. Page size: 8 1/2 x 6 3/4". 12 pages. Rouanet's imaginative story about "Lost Gardens" is illustrated with eight original mezzotints by Judith Rothchild. Letterpress printed by Mark Lintott on an Albion press. Bound by Claude Vallin: leporello binding, tucked into a two-color screen-printed paper sleeve, this deluxe copy with clamshell box of same design; both by the artist, fine. This generous, quiet story begins with a group of fig-laden trees remind one of the "jardins disparus" (the lost garden); ambles through a liminal space of moths and snails and memory and sun; and ends imagining an elusive and transcendent field of green existing beyond time: "Une epaisseur des taillis, une sorte de verdure, encouragees par l'humidite cachee, se souviennent de l'eau et du jardin longtemps apres la mort des hommes" (a thickness of copses, a sort of green, encouraged by the concealed humidity, recalls to mind the water and the garden a long time after the death of man). Rothchild's faintly luminous mezzotints of snails evoke a world just emerging from the soil, as well as one existing beyond human time. The prehistoric beauty of even these most simple life forms evoke, according to the epigraph, "la Geometrie souveraine qui regit le monde" ("the sovereign geometry which rules the world"). (Inventory #: 8282)
Book arts, Livres d'Artiste, Fine Bindings, American Women Authors, Book Arts, Feminism, Fine and Private Press
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