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RODOLPHE BRESDIN: An Incorrigible Bohemian
Bibliophile price: £7.00
Glamorous hardbound first edition with dozens of full page artworks and plates of etchings, pen and ink drawings, a detail from The Town of Fantasy, lithographs on vellum, this book is the first monograph of the distinguished French artist Rodolphe Brèsdin. It contains a rigorous reappraisal of the artist's work, and new insights regarding his life. His subtle artistry was appreciated in his lifetime by talented writers such as Théodore de Banville, Victor Hugo and Charles Baudelaire, fellow members of the Paris Bohemia. He was the mentor of Odilon Redon who signed his work 'Pupil of Brèsdin'. Redon was a lifelong advocate of the imaginative genius of his teacher. Penniless through his life, a country boy uneasy in the Paris Bohème, an epic journey to Southern France, then later at the age of 50, with a wife and six children, he disastrously voyaged to Canada. They were rescued by Hugo and the Bohemians yet a marital break up and his death in a garret room followed. His work has sometimes been judged on his two most famous pictures - The Good Samaritan and The Comedy of Death - and all depict a natural world in an engaging manner, from the delightfully sinister to a rampant elemental fantasy. They range from Caesar and his Prisoners 1878, The Knight and Death, The Mountain Stream which is almost photographic in its quality, Bathers Beneath the Palms, The Holy Family, The Butterfly and the Pond, The Diplomat and the Ant Hill, The Fishing Port with the church and pointed steeple, The Farmyard to an interior of a country house with its inhabitants semi-clothed, huddled round the fire with their animals and cooking food. Hundreds of examples all beautifully reproduced on 278 quality pages.
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