Item #33257 Printing for Kingdom, Empire and Republic: Treasures from the Archives of the Imprimerie Nationale. H. George FLETCHER.
Printing for Kingdom, Empire and Republic: Treasures from the Archives of the Imprimerie Nationale.

Printing for Kingdom, Empire and Republic: Treasures from the Archives of the Imprimerie Nationale.

New York: The Grolier Club, 2012,

First Edition, one of 500 copies. quarto, blue cloth. 118 pp. The Grolier Club, New. Item #33257

This volume was produced to accompany an exhibition held at the Grolier Club from December 6, 2011 to February 4, 2012, on the history of the French national typographic and printing establishment, the Imprimerie Nationale, arguably the most important printing house in Europe. Drawn from the ancient, vast, and comprehensive archives of the Imprimerie Nationale, Printing for Kingdom, Empire, & Republic documents the significant influence of the press, not only on printing and the book arts, but also on French - and therefore European - literary culture from the mid-sixteenth century to the present day. The exhibition was organized by The Grolier Club and the Groupe Imprimerie Nationale, S.A., with administrative and organizational support from the Institut Mémoires de l'Édition Contemporaine (IMEC), France's largest archive of authorial and publishing materials. The catalogue tells the story of the Imprimerie Nationale, from the royal printers established by François I in 1538, to the Imprimerie Royale created by Cardinal Richelieu in 1640, through many generations of development, marked often by artistic innovation and wide cultural influence, but sometimes by distress and neglect, to triumphant survival in the present day. It surveys a wealth of objects, all classified as French monuments historiques, and never before seen outside of France, and including artifacts of various printing processes, such as punches, matrices, and typefonts from the days of François I to the present, as well as engraved plates used to produce illustrations for such renowned works as Louis XIV's Medailles and the Description de l'Égypt commissioned by Napoleon. The catalogue also showcases the books produced at the Imprimerie Nationale, from the scholarly products of the Renaissance in France through the royal folios of the Sun King to the culture-changing works of the twentieth century, and thus to the work of postwar and present-day generations of French book artists. In many instances, original manuscripts, documents, and artwork follow the art, craft, and business of book-making from conception to realization. foreword by Jack Lang, two separate prefaces by Dider Trutt and Eugene S. Flamm, and an Introduction by H. George Fletcher. It includes historical essays by Isabelle de Conihout, Annie Parent-Charon, and James Mosley and discusses topics such as humanism and typography, Pierre Moreau (Master Scribe and Printer), The Romain du Roi (a type made for the Royal Printing-House of Louis XIV) and more. An annotated checklist of the items on display at the exhibition is followed by the essays. Beautifully illustrated, the book contains five pages of color plates, four plates in collotypes, illustrations of typefaces, and more. Designed by Jerry Kelly. Two very small spots and faint scuff to front cover, else fine.

Price: $75.00

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