Collection L'âge d'or

Year: (1945 - 1947)
Editor: Henri Parisot
Artist: Mario Prassinos (1916 - 1985)
Publisher: Fontaine

Cover for René Char, Premières alluvions (1946)

The circle of people around the magazine Fontaine consisted of young, modern authors such as René Char and Raymond Queneau. The magazine was initially edited by Max-Pol Fouchet from Algiers: the first issue from 1939 was episode 3, and a direct sequel to the magazine Mithra (of which 2 issues had appeared). It had been established in Paris since 1944; the magazine was forced to fold in 1947 due to lack of finances.

By then a series of collections of poetry titled L'âge d'or had appeared from that publisher, edited by Henri Parisot, who had already been rejected by the surrealist community in 1936. The editor took L'âge d’or along with him to another publisher, an act he would later repeat several times. The series appeared in 1948 and 1949 from Robert Marin's publishing business, from 1950 to 1951 from the Éditions Premières, and after a short interruption, finally from 1964 to 1975 from Flammarion. Parisot also worked as a translator (whose work included authors like Coleridge and Lewis Carroll), edited the Pleïade series of Gallimard for a short time, and acted as an advisor for publisher Flammarion.

The oldest series of L'âge d'or consisted of first printings of collections of poetry with a simple but modern design. The covers, which were always printed in a different colour, made use of one single design by Mario Prassinos. This artist was born to a Greek family in Istanbul and lived in France since 1922, where he designed theatrical sets, illustrations and carpets. After the series L'âge d'or he was asked by publisher Gallimard to produce designs for a large series of hardcover editions, on which other artists also collaborated, especially bookbinder Paul Bonet. Prassinos ultimately drew 205 publisher's bindings for this series, which is known as the 'cartonnages NRF'.


Bibliographical description

Description: L'âge d'or. - Paris : Fontaine, 1945-1947. - 14 cm
Printer: Grou-Radenez (Paris)
Edition: 275 to 525 copies
Shelfmark: KW Koopm D 63, 64, 69, 71

References

  • Georges Charbonnier, 'Entretien avec Mario Prassinos', in: Le monologue du peintre. Paris: Julliard, 1959
  • Jean-Étienne Huret, Les cartonnages NRF: Bibliographie. Paris, Librairie Niçaise, 1997
  • Les poètes de la revue Fontaine. Paris, Armand Colin, 1978