CHIMOT, Édouard (Artist). VERLAINE, Paul. Parallèlement. Vingt-trois eaux-fortes originales de Édouard Chimot. [Argenteuil, R. Coulouma and Paris, Cerbellaud & Jonnart for the artist and Devambez, May 25, 1931].
Large 4to (c. 330 x 250 mm). Loose and entirely uncut in the original printed wrappers; pp. [4, blank], [2, half-title and limitation], [2, blank], [2, title printed in red and black], 147, , 23 full-page etchings with aquatint (some colour-printed or tinted) in the text; spine of wrappers a little rubbed and worn, remnants of contemporary half-calf folder and slipcase; a few leaves with marginal blue ink spots.
Privately printed, number XVI of the 23 copies on japon ancien reserved for the artist (total printrun 198 copies), with Chimot's aquatint etchings in the first state, second state printed in sanguine with remarques, the second state with remarques, printed in black, the final state, and one plate in all states (dossier), limitation signed by the artist, a few manuscript notes in the artist's hand on folder of the dossier.
This set not only comprises the additional versions of the illustrations but in the dossier complet d'une planche all stages of the plate to Prologue d'un livre, including the copperplate, a first charcoal and bistre study, the pencil drawing for the etching, signed by the artist, an early proof of the etching combined with the text, altogether, apart from the copperplate and the print in the book, 14 different stages of this particular plate.
The French artist, book illustrator, printmaker (exclusively etchings) and editor Édouard Chimot (1880-1959) rented a studio in Montmartre, haunted by 'jeunes et jolies femmes,' his models. He began to illustrate texts; however, the First World War interrupted his career. After the War he was able to rent Renoir's old atelier, where he produced etchings alongside decadent literature as well as Henri Barbusse. From 1923 to 1931, as artistic director of Les Éditions d’Art Devambez he oversaw the production of many outstanding illustrated private press books but reserved some texts for his own art as etcher and printmaker, among them this collection of erotic poetry by the symbolist poète maudit Verlaine, which had been published first in 1889 and ever since has tempted book illustrators to publish their art alongside the poems. During the roaring '20s in Paris, Chimot became a central figure of the Jazz age with many connections to artistic and literary circles, including the Surrealist movement. He even embarked on film-making in 1924. Parallèlement is his last French limited edition artistic book production; the Wall Street Crash of 1929 had eliminated the economic basis for such productions for a long time. He later settled in Spain and continued illustrating books.