Le dur désir de durer

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The 1946 Paris partnership of Arnold Fawcus (1917-1979) and Pierre Bordas (1913-2000) led to only one Arnold-Bordas Edition, a livre d’artiste pairing Paul Eluard (1895-1952) poetry with drawings by Marc Chagall (1887-1985) entitled Le dur désir de durer (The Hard Desire to Endure). When Bordas left the following year, Fawcus established the Trianon Press in London and to increase distribution, several American companies including Grey Falcon Press in Philadelphia. By 1950, a second larger edition of Le dur désir de durer was released with an English translation.

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Both editions include one pochoir (stencil) colored plate created at the studio of Daniel Jacomet (1894-1966), under Chagall’s supervision. Jacomet worked primarily on fine art reproductions for museums, preparing a collotype of the original painting or watercolor, which was then hand colored through a series of stencils to replicate the original. Editions were usually 300-500 and Jacomet had a large studio of women who did the cutting and coloring once he designed the stencils. The studio continues to operate under Jacomet’s son Bruno.

To get both Chagall prints, one needs to have both editions of the book.

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For more information, read Sebastian Carter “Arnold Fawcus and the Trianon Press,” in Matrix 3 (GAX Oversize Z119 .M38q) and Emily Anderson, The Pursuit of Happy Results (Boston: David R. Godine, Published for members of Hoc Volo, [1991]) (Graphic Arts Collection (GA) NC139.S635 A54 1991)


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Paul Éluard (1895-1952), Le dur désir de durer. Illustré par Marc Chagall ([Paris] Bordas, 1946, 1950). “Il a été tiré du présent ouvrage … 1.000 exemplaies sur vélin bouffant d’Alfa numérotés de 16 à 1.015 … Le frontispice en couleurs fut reproduit à la main dans les ateliers de Daniel Jacomet sous le contrôle de Marc Chagall”–P. [9]. Copy 179 or 1000. Inscribed by the author to Paul Gabriel Dolonne. Full red crushed morocco with gilt and blind tooling and block-printed endpapers, by Christine Hamilton.  Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize PQ2609.L75 D78q

Paul Eluard (1895-1952), Le dur désir de durer; illustrated by Marc Chagall ; with the English translation by Stephen Spender and Frances Cornford (Philadelphia: Grey Falcon Press; London: Trianon Press, 1950). “750 copies, numbered 1 to 750, reserved for the Trianon Press … 750 copies, numbered 751 to 1500, reserved for the Grey Falcon Press … The color frontispieces … were reproduced by hand in the workshops of Daniel Jacomet, Paris, under the supervision of Marc Chagall.” Copy 420 or 1500. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize PQ2609.L75 D7813q

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