HANDSOME FIRST EDITION OF BRÉRAULT’S IMAGES, A SCARCE PORTFOLIO WITH 54 FOLIO PLATES, THE RICHES OF ART, SCIENCE AND HISTORY SEEN IN THE ART OF A BEAUTIFUL PHOTOGRAPH
BRÉRAULT, Jean. Images. Paris: Librarie des Arts Décoratifs, [circa 1935]. Large portfolio (measuring 10 by 13 inches), original gilt-stamped red paper-covered boards, cloth ties, 54 original loose photographic plates printed on card stock, separate original title booklet (pp. 4), separate original “Table des planches” booklet (pp. 8). $1150.
First edition of Jean Brérault’s unique portfolio collection of 54 black-and-white photographic plates, uniting the art of photography to the study of human history and the sciences.
A leading filmmaker and scientist who played an influential role in the French Popular Front, Jean Brérault also sought to unite his interests with photography’s rapidly expanding influence. He directed a number of short educational films from 1930-50 and further explored photography’s potential with this handsome portfolio of 54 photographic plates: each image chosen by Brérault as a classic example of the rich kinship between photography and studies of the natural world, human history, art and technology. This theme is especially vivid in the opening photographic plate of the Cygnus Nebula, taken in 1915 from the Mt. Wilson observatory by George Ritchey, the renowned astronomer whose photographs of novae and supernovae led to the “first reasonably accurate measurement of the distance to a spiral nebula” (DSB). Among this portfolio’s other striking folio plates are photographic images of an Indian elephant, sculptured forms of the human body, a death mask of Pascal, Einstein captured by Génia Reinberg, and representations of world landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Parthenon, Notre Dame, Egypt’s Colussus of Amenophis III, Mont Blanc, Tunisia’s Seldja Gorge, a Sudanese village and the Grand Canyon. With eight-page “Table des Planche” with captions, four-page booklet with introduction by Brérault. Text in French.
Images clean and bright; slight edge-wear to original paper-covered boards. Near fine.