Year: 1953

Author: André Rouveyre (1879 - 1962)

Artist: Henri Matisse (1869 - 1954)

Publisher: Raisons d'être

Upper cover of the cassette after a design by Henri Matisse

Poet-artist Rouveyre was in Deauville (Normandy) with Guillaume Apollinaire at the moment when World War I erupted. Shortly after the war, on 9 November 1918, Apollinaire died of the Spanish Influenza. In the meantime he had fought on the front, where he suffered a head injury- Rouveyre drew the poet's portrait wearing a head bandage. His main literary works were also published: the collection Calligrammes, with influential visual poetry, and the play Les mamelles de Tirésias, for which he had coined the term 'Surrealism', which was thereby set for future use.

Rouveyre described Apollinaire's home on the Boulevard Saint-Germain, on the corner of Rue Saint-Guillaume, as an apartment on the seventh floor where dust covered the objects like a beautiful blanket. In a kind of self-made boudoir on the roof, two drawings by Matisse hung on the wall. The painter Matisse was very fond of Apollinaire, and at the end of World War II, when Rouveyre and Matisse spoke regularly, they decided to produce a book about their friend.

Rouveyre wrote the text of Apollinaire and Matisse designed the slipcase, a jacket, an engraving, 7 lithographs (portraits) and 3 linocuts (initials). Between 1941 and 1951, Matisse worked on his contribution to this book. It included a portrait of Apollinaire. The printing work was finished in April 1952- and the author was delighted with the blue cover with white lettering and the jacket with the yellow flowers that had been printed by the printer Mourlot. The book ultimately didn't appear until 1953, thirty-five years after the death of their mutual friend.

Bibliographical description

Description: Apollinaire / André Rouveyre ; [ill.] Henri Matisse. - Paris : Raisons d'être, 1952. - 86 p. : ill. ; 34 cm

1st edition: 1945

Printer: Mourlot frères (lithographs) Coulouma (Paris)

Edition: 350 copies

This copy: Number 185 of 350 on Arches

Bibliography: Bénézit 9-357 ; Monod 10004

Shelfmark: KW Koopm A 425


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