“BRILLIANT AND OFTEN AMUSING”: THE FRENCH OF PARIS, WITH TEXT BY ALDOUS HUXLEY AND 112 PHOTOGRAVURES BY SANFORD ROTH
HUXLEY, Aldous and ROTH, Sanford. The French of Paris. New York: Harper & Brothers, . Quarto, original half orange cloth, blue paper-covered boards. $550.
First edition in English of this warm tribute to postwar Paris, with text by Huxley and 112 velvety photogravure plates by expatriate Sanford Roth, including portraits of Picasso, Matisse, Colette, Huxley and others, the copy of acclaimed Newsweek photographer Peter Turnley, with his signature.
Aldous Huxley, whose works “set a model for writers of his generation… once described himself as ‘an essayist who sometimes writes novels and biographies” (New York Times). Here Huxley’s skills as an essayist highlight the city’s complex history, singling out Sanford Roth’s “brilliant and often amusing photographs… Roth shows us a life that continues to be lived, in spite of two World Wars, very much as it was lived” at the turn of the century. The Brooklyn-born Roth, who moved to Paris in 1947, was especially noted for iconic portraits of artists such as Picasso, Miro, Matisse, Colette, Cocteau, Miro, Huxley and others, all seen here in images with “a quality that seems to capture a sense of his subjects’ work as well as their personalities” (Time). Preceded by first French edition, with Huxley’s text appearing earlier in Esquire in 1953. Without scarce dust jacket. Eschelbach & Shober 28. From the library of Peter Turnley, who has “photographed almost every important international news event of the last 15 years” as a leading photojournalist for Newsweek and contributing editor for Harper’s Magazine (New York Times).
Images clean and fresh, light foxing to endpapers, slight dampstaining, edge-wear to original boards. A scarce, near-fine photobook with an important provenance.