WITH AN ORIGINAL CHAGALL LITHOGRAPH
SENGHOR, Léopold Sédar. Élégie des Alizés. Lithographie Originale de Marc Chagall. (Paris): Éditions du Seuil, (1969). Slim quarto, five loose gatherings in original cream paper wrappers, uncut and unopened, original glassine. $2800.
Limited first edition, number 405 of only 450 copies, of Senghor's Élégie des Alizés (Elegy for the Trade Winds), with an original full-page three-color lithograph by Chagall, signed and dated by him in 1974 on the title page. From the collection of Joseph Liverant, a fellow Russian Jewish emigré and friend of Chagall.
Internationally recognized poet, politician, and cultural theorist, who served as the first president of Senegal, Léopold Sédar Senghor avoided the Marxist and anti-Western ideology that had become popular in post-colonial Africa, choosing instead to form a close relationship with France and the Western world. He was instrumental in the cultivation of postcolonial aesthetics and black African consciousness. His poetry reflects an "all-embracing humanism which envisions the solidarity of all men, with each nation making its contribution in its own special way to a 'universal civilization" (Albert S. Gerard). Critics continually point to his ability to synthesize elements of Western and African experience and to evoke universality in the imagery of his verse. "Senghor is not merely a Frenchified African who tries to give exotic interest to his French poems; he is an African who uses the French language to express his African soul" (Ulli Beier). Chagall's wonderful illustration was printed by Fernand Mourlot, who ran a lithography press in Paris, where such greats as Braque, Matisse, Picasso, Miró, Léger and of course Chagall, came to have their designs printed and to learn about this still nascent medium. Text in French. Cramer 82. Sorlier 587. From the collection of Joseph Liverant, a fellow Russian Jewish emigré and close friend of Chagall. Liverant and Chagall both fled Europe in World War II, Liverant to Canada and Chagall to the United States. After the war, both acquired residences in Provence, where shared social circles, similar ages, and a mutual love of Yiddish combined to forge a lasting bond of friendship between the two.
A bit of wear, two small ink marks to rear panel of fragile original glassine; wrappers and interior fine.