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Maria Chapdelaine
Éditions Mornay, Paris 1933 - Original paper wrappers printed in imitation of birch bark, modern black leatherette box, paper title label to spine A fine copy of the finest edition of this bestseller including Clarence Gagnon's most important illustrative work. This work was limited to 2000 copies, this copy numbered 1995, one of 1900 copies printed on 'blanc de Rives' paper. Louis Hémon, born in Brest, France, moved to Canada in 1911. The present work was his most successful novel and has been translated into more than 20 languages. " Maria Chapdelaine . , a novel embodying the spirit of French Canada at its most lyrical, was based by the author . on his experiences in the Lac Saint-Jean district of Québec. Church and farm provide a physical and symbolic setting for the romance, as the seasons and feast days provide a mythic temporal framework for its action. Following the death of her mother and that of her lover François Paradis, Maria must choose between two suitors: Lorenzo Surprenant, who tempts her with the riches of America, and Eutrope Gagnon, the boy next door. She unselfishly accepts Gagnon, thereby ensuring the survival of family and community and affirming the traditional values of rural French Canada." (Michele Lacombe writing for The Canadian Encyclopedia ). In an effort to retain a purity of colour Clarence Gagnon worked in gouache and crayon for these illustrations, and on a small scale, with none of the originals being larger than about 8 inches square. As the limitation leaf notes, the illustrations for this work took Gagnon three years to complete and are amongst his most important illustrative works. Gagnon was a painter, illustrator and etcher and is now recognized as one of the major figures in the development of Canadian modern art. Born in Montreal in 1881, Gagnon first studied art at the Art Association of Montreal, starting at the age of 16. By 1904, he was in Paris where he lived and worked, studying briefly at the Academie Julian under Jean-Paul Laurens, and absorbing the French Impressionist's love of pure colours. "Back in Canada in 1909, he lived near Montreal in Baie-Saint-Paul, which, in the Charlevois region, became one of his favorite painting locations . He became an associate of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1910 and a full member in 1922. From 1911 to 1914 he was variously in Canada, France and Norway, working from sketches begun in Quebec. His subjects included French-Canadian life and anecdotal scenes . He abandoned etching for landscape painting, and in addition to scenes of Quebec did village scenes and landscapes in France. In 1913, he exhibited scenes of Canada at the Galerie Reitlinger in Paris. Gagnon lived in Paris from 1924 to 1936, where he illustrated Louis Hemon's story of Canadian frontier life, Marie Chapdelaine , and L. F. Rouquette's Le Grand Silence Blanc . In 1936, Clarence Gagnon stopped painting, and then devoted himself to the establishment of Ile d'Orléans, a national historical park inspired by ones he had seen in Scandinavia." ("Clarence Gagnon, 1881-1942" in American Art Review , December 2006, p. 134-137). Cf. J. Russell Harper Painting In Canada [1966] p.463. (9 3/4 x 7 3/4 inches). Limitation leaf and title printed in brown and black, the title with a coloured vignette. 54 coloured illustrations (15 headpieces, 1 tailpiece, 38 half-page) after Gagnon, printed at the atelier Godde & Chevassu under the supervision of M. Grenier. [Attributes: Soft Cover]
      [Bookseller: Donald A. Heald Rare Books (ABAA)]
Last Found On: 2014-10-02           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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