Spleen de Paris.
Edition illustree etornee par le peintre d'Essertine [Illustrated and decorated edition by a painter of Essertine]. Theoule sur Mer [France] : Phillipe Gonin, 1942. Quarto, original hand-lettered wrappers, collated in sections (as issued), pp 81, bookplate to colophon leaf. Housed in faux leather portfolio with hand-lettered spine (hinges split), original faux leather slipcase. Consists of 13 poems, extensively illustrated with gouache and watercolour portraits, still lifes, and initials.”Cette edition a ete faite sur l'Initiative de Mr Jean E. Bonna. Il a ete fait vingt exemplaires numerotes de 1 a 20. Chaque livre est illustre et peint a la main.” [This edition made on the initiative of Mr Jean E. Bonna. It was done in twenty copies numbered 1 to 20. Each book is illustrated and hand painted.]
Baudelaire's Spleen de Paris (first published in 1869) represents an important early precursor to literary modernism, written exclusively in newly established poetic prose to capture the essence of modern, urban life. Baudelaire was heavily influenced by Aloysius Bertrand’s Gaspard de la nuit and sought to apply a new, modern poetic language to themes of pleasure and debauchery, metropolitan poverty, class divides, and the inevitable march of time.The full fifty vingnettes were originally published as the compilation Petits Poèmes en prose and represented writings from across the last twelve years of Baudelaire's life.
This war-time publication, printed no doubt to combat the images of desctruction so prevalent in Europe at the time, includes the poems À une heure du matin, Les Foules, L’Horloge, Un Hémisphère dans une chevelure, Les Projets, La Belle Dorothée, Enivrez-vous, Déjà, Les Fenêtres, Le Désir de peindre, Les Bienfaits de la lune, Le Port, and Portraits de maîtresses. Illustrated with original artworks composed in homage to impressionists such as Pissaro as well as the semi-eroticism of Gaugin, this rare edition of Baudelaire's seminal work appears to not be held in any institutional collection.