ANATOLE FRANCE’S CLIO, 1900, DEDICATED TO ÉMILE ZOLA, WITH 13 COLOR LITHOGRAPHS BY ART NOUVEAU ARTIST MUCHA
FRANCE, Anatole. Clio. Paris: Calmann Lévy, (1900). Quarto, contemporary three-quarter black morocco, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers, top edge gilt.
First French trade edition of Nobel laureate Anatole France’s novel Clio, illustrated with title page color vignette and 12 additional color lithographs (seven full page) by celebrated Art Nouveau artist Mucha, handsomely bound in morocco gilt.
The works of Anatole France are “remarkable for their wide-ranging erudition, their wit and irony, their passion for social justice, and their classical clarity, qualities that mark France as an heir to the tradition of Denis Diderot and Voltaire” (Nobel Prize Committee). His “love of beauty, of pagan antiquity and of 18-century classicism… his clarity of thought and his elegant, melodious style” earned him the 1921 Nobel Price for Literature (Harvey & Heseltine, 286-7). France, who famously joined with Émile Zola in passionate defense of Alfred Dreyfus at the turn of the century, also dedicated this novel to Zola. In addition, this splendid volume is beautifully illustrated by renowned Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha, and features a title-page color vignette along with 12 additional color lithographs by him. This is among Mucha’s finest illustrated books, a work that fully captures the graceful skill of this Czech-born artist who is widely celebrated for his “supreme talent as a decorative artist” (Ray, Art of the French Illustrated Book 366). First trade edition, issued along with a limited edition (150 copies), no priority established. Text in French. With the distinctive bookplate of noted bibliophile, Dr. Phiroze K. Randeria.
A fine copy.