WONDERFUL SURREALIST ORIGINAL DRAWING BY COCTEAU FOR THE TITLE PAGE OF HIS LE MYSTÈRE LAIC
COCTEAU, Jean. “Le Mystère Laic” [Paris], 1928. Original pen-and-ink design for a title page, drawn on cream wove stock measuring 8 by 10 inches; handsomely framed, entire piece measures 14 by 18 inches. $7200.
Cocteau’s original design for the title page of Le Mystère Laic (The Secular Mystery), his treatise on the art of de Chirico.
This original design was produced by Cocteau as a title page for his Le Mystère Laic, “a fine treatise on the art of the Italian painter Giorgio de Chirico… In this work Cocteau extended himself into the area of aesthetic theory that he had explored in Le Coq and his exegesis of Picasso… De Chirico was grateful for Cocteau’s understanding and support and some years later did a series of fine lithographs for Cocteau’s book Mythologie” (Emboden, 44). See The Artist and the Book 56. From the collection of George Verdak, who danced with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo from 1942-1951— later became Artistic Director of the Indianapolis Ballet Theater and chairman of the Dance Department at Butler University. Accompanied by a copy of the first edition of Cocteau’s Le Mystere Laic (The Secular Mystery), with five drawings by Giorgio de Chirico, one of 3000 numbered copies. Cocteau’s design does not appear in the final version of the book, though the first copy in the limitation was issued with an original drawing by Cocteau, most likely from the same series from which this drawing comes.
Light stain to top margin, not affecting drawing. A splendid original drawing, larger than most.