Sang et lumières
Author: Joseph Peyré (1892 - 1968)
Artist: Hans Erni (1909 - 2015)
Publisher: Pierre de Tartas
Energetic sketches by Hans Erni
The Swiss murals painter, writer, sculptor and lithographer Hans Erni had a passion for the mythical figure of the Minotaur, the part man and part bull from Greek antiquity. Between 1935 and 2000, Erni created more than a hundred artist's books, and he embellished Peyré's story with sketches that suggest the impetuous movements of the bulls. Erni's bull's heads, however, all have a meek, almost human look. According to him, it is not the matador but the bull to whom the characteristics of courage and willpower should be assigned, although the bull is usually associated with anger.
Erni is the son of a mechanic and comes from Luzern. In Paris, he encountered the abstract art by Picasso, Arp, Mondriaan, Brancusi and Kandinsky. He was strongly influenced by them in his work, but Erni's book illustrations are figurative. The additional litho shows the culmination of the bull fight: the tense looks of the bull, the matador and the female public are in one frame.
The en profile perspective and the dynamic lines remind one of the drawings of Cocteau and Bellmer. In his early work, traces of Picasso and Dalí can be found as well. However, Erni's drawings and original lithos in Sang et lumière have no surrealist characteristics, and their lines are coarser and wilder. The blood red cassette shows a hand reaching for a bull's tail. On opening, the box shows a white cover: a relief print of a bull with two spears in its back.
Description: Sang et lumières / [lignes de Joseph Peyré ; ill. de dessins en noir et de cinq lithographies orig. en couleurs de Hans Erni]. – [Bièvres] : [Pierre de Tartas], 1962 .- 84 p. : ill. ; 40 cm
Printer: R. Michel (typography) ; R. Guillard en de Moulin de Vauboyen (lithographs)
Edition: 263 copies
This copy: Number 86 of 90 on handmade Auvergne, with a supplementary set of refused plates on Japon Impérial and two extra plates in colour on 'grand Rives'. Signed by the author and the artist
Bibliography: Bénézit 5-162 ; Johnson 10-465; Monod 9051 ; Saur Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon 34-437
Shelfmark: KW KOOPM E 39
- Carl J. Burckhardt, Hans Erni. Zürich, Scheidegger, 1964
- Carl J. Burckhardt, Hans Erni. [S.l.], Editions Rencontre, 1970
- Hans Erni, Hans Erni, Kunstwerk Buch. Solothurn, Zentralbibliothek Solothurn, 1982