November 20, 2008

Les Amies by Verlaine illustrated by Buchet

Les Amies (girl friends), early work in which Verlaine praises sapphic love, known a rather chaotic publication. First edited to 50 copies under the pseudonym of Pablo-Maria de Herlañes, the collection is censored and all the issues are destroyed. The six sonnets are again published, in 1881, in La Revue Indépendante (The Independent Journal) and finally resumed, in 1889, in Parralèlement (text in french here). It is in this collection that are also the six poems Filles (Girls) who address the theme of brothel.

Because of their erotic and sulphurous dimension, Those poems have been illustrated many times (Bonnard, Bécat, Daragnès ...) The contribution of Gustave Buchet is from the Art Deco period. The Swiss painter has flirted with major artistic movements of his time : Dada, Futurism, Cubism then Purism that leads him to abstraction. This is the line which makes the interest of the etchings that Buchet composes for Les Amies and Filles. The harmony of sober colors invites the gaze to land on the forms. The bodies are all in accurate and fine curves. The style is simple, elegant.

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • [Buchet (Gustave)] – Verlaine (Paul). Les Amies. Filles. Treize pointes sèches rehaussées de couleur et cul-de-lampe par Gustave Buchet. Paris, Le Livre, 1913, in-4, binding by Martine Roy. Edition illustrated with 13 hand color-washed etchings.