ONE OF ONLY 340 PRINTED ON VELLUM: LIMITED FIRST EDITION OF NIJINSKY, WITH 12 SPLENDID HAND-COLORED EN POCHOIR ILLUSTRATIONS BY BARBIER
BARBIER, George and MIOMANDRE, Francis de. Dessins sur les Danses de Vaslav Nijinsky. Paris: La Belle Edition, (1913). Tall, slim folio (11 by 13 inches), original pictorial paper wrappers. Housed in a custom chemise and clamshell box. $8200.
Limited first edition of this lavish visual tribute to the great Nijinsky, with 12 striking full-page line blocks by George Barbier, hand-colored en pochoir. This copy number 345 of only 340 copies printed on vellum (out of a total edition of 390 copies).
"We have our despair, our sadness, our violated love and this thing, most dread of all— the passing of the days between our hands, helpless to cherish aught they give. But in the spring, the Russian Ballets and NIJINSKY return. And all is forgotten" (Francis de Miomandre). This glowing tribute is illustrated with 12 full-page, pochoir-colored line blocks of Nijinsky in his various roles by Art Deco legend George Barbier, who began his career as a costume and set designer for the Ballet Russes. Renowned for his achievement in costume and fashion illustration, his art work is epitomized by a characteristically elegant, stylized line. This French first edition precedes the limited first edition in English of the same year and is considerably more difficult to collect. From the collection of Hiroshi Aramata, the Japanese author, polymath, translator, natural historian, iconographer, and cartographer, whose novel Teito Monogatari (Tale of the Capitol), has sold over 5 million copies in Japan alone.
Only light rubbing to extremities of wrappers, text block expertly reinforced. A near-fine copy.