November 27, 2006

Le Paradis Musulman

Important figure of the Art Deco, François-Louis Schmied, born in Switzerland, came to Paris at the beginning of the 20th century and lived there until the middle of the Thirties when he moved to Marocco. He published luxuous illustrated books, of classic literature as Homer's Odyssey, and also orientalist stories. Thus, Le Paradis Musulman by Joseph-Charles Mardrus, doctor born in Cairo who was well-known for his new translation of the Book Of One Thousand And One Nights. Le Paradis Musulman is the third collaboration between the two men after La Création (1928) and Le Livre de la Vérité de la Parole (1929).

Schmied can easily be qualified as a designer because of the importance he give to the layout of the book. He worked, besides, with the designer Jean Dunand. And it's obvious that, with Schmied, the art of illustration becomes decoration : colors are substances, page setting is architecture. The typography is arranged as an harmonious structure, playing with the symmetry. Le Paradis Musulman, is deservedly considered as one his very best works.

Currently at Loliee's Bookshop, you can find, among others, Le Paradis Musulman, 1930, in-4, loose leaves, illustrated cover, with the publisher's folder and case.