The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Sotheby's in Paris to offer important manuscripts from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries
A moving ensemble of letters from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Saint-Lambert and Madame d’Houdetot, written between October 1757 and April 1758 when Rousseau was staying with Madame d’Epinay. Est. €250,000-350,000 / $377.500-458.500. Photo: Sotheby's.

PARIS.- The forthcoming sale of Books & Manuscripts at Sotheby’s Paris on 29 May will give special importance to manuscripts from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

The 149 lots include documents and historic manuscripts of exceptional interest, among them the journal of the Duguay-Trouin expedition to Rio de Janeiro in 1711; the letter written by the imprisoned Alfred Dreyfus to the French Interior Minister; moving expressions of love from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to the woman who inspired the main character of La Nouvelle Héloïse; Voltaire’s description of his everyday life during the last 23 years of his life; and the manuscript of four chapters of Chateaubriand’s Les Mémoires d’Outre-Tombe, unpublished for over a century.

The sale begins with a very rare historic document: the logbook of the five naval campaigns of Chevalier de Parcevaux (1708-20), including the Duguay-Trouin expedition to Rio de Janeiro, illustrated with watercolours, notably a very rare view of Rio de Janeiro from the ship and a superb view of the fleet’s entrance to the bay. Sixty pages cover the Rio de Janeiro campaign to avenge Le Clerc, held prisoner in Rio, and plunder the city’s gold. Chevalier de Parcevaux’s unpublished records had remained in the hands of his descendants until now. Only two other accounts exist of this looting operation which yielded over the two tons of gold, including the official one (est. €60,000-90,000 / $78.600-117.900*).

The section also includes two lots offering valuable insight into the lives of Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

First comes an exceptional ensemble of 61 handwritten letters by Voltaire to his friend and advisor President de Ruffey, a bibliophile, collector and member of the Académie Française, covering the last 23 years of Voltaire’s life (1754-77). The correspondence paints a lively picture of the daily life of Voltaire and Madame Denis in their successive homes in Prangins, Les Délices, and Ferney (est. € 100,000-150,000 / $131.000-196.500).

Then comes a moving ensemble of letters from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Saint-Lambert and Madame d’Houdetot, written between October 1757 and April 1758 when Rousseau was staying with Madame d’Epinay. This correspondence with the love of his life, who inspired the character of Julie in La Nouvelle Héloïse, shows Rousseau as a man of integrity, refusing the social whirl and leading an increasingly solitary existence. The letters remained in the private collection of Madame d’Houdetot’s descendant, Comte Foy (est. €250,000-350,000 / $377.500-458.500).

One of the highlights of the sale is the letter written from prison by Alfred Dreyfus to the Minister of the Interior on 26 January 1895, one month after his conviction and three weeks after he was stripped of his military rank. It shows Dreyfus in a state of utter despair: ‘I was condemned for the most infamous crime a soldier may commit, and I am innocent…. I seek neither your grace nor pity, Monsieur le Ministre, only justice.’

This document of vital historic interest comes from the Dreyfus family, and contains all the elements of the Dreyfusards’ future struggle: the quest for justice, truth and the real culprit, and a request for access to the evidence – the infamous ‘bordereau’ containing French military secrets which he claims to be a fake. The letter reflects the distress of a man who toyed with then rejected the idea of suicide to fight to save his honour. It was returned to Dreyfus by prison authorities in 1900. During the German invasion of 1940, his grandson lodged it with the Bibliothèque Nationale to make sure it did not fall into Nazi hands; it was returned to the Dreyfus family after the war (est. €100,000-150,000 / 131.000-196.500).

The section devoted to the 19th century includes an ensemble of first editions and handwritten documents by such major authors as Paul Verlaine, with Les Mémoires d’un Veuf (est. €8,000-12,000 / $10.500-15.700); Emile Zola, with the corrected proofs of Paris (est. €6,000-8,000 / $7.800-10.500); and two original drawings by Prosper Mérimée (est. €3,000-5,000 / $ 3.900-6.550 and €1,500-2,000 / $1.965-2.620).

The most eagerly awaited works, however, are likely to be four lots connected to François-René de Chateaubriand, two of them linked to his mythical Mémoires d’Outre-Tombe: four unpublished chapters (est. €80,000-120,000 / $104.800-157.200); and the first contract for publishing the work (est. €20,000-30,000 / $26.200-39.300).

Manuscripts from the second half of the 19th century including the magnificent working manuscript (1870) for Le Bonheur dans le Crime, the third volume of Les Diaboliques, by Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly – one of just three still in private hands (est. €60,000-80,000 / $78.600-104.800); and a letter of biting irony from Charles Baudelaire to Auguste Poulet-Malassis, publisher of Les Fleurs du Mal (est. €25,000-35,000 / $32.750-45.850).

The sale also includes some 40 manuscripts from the Minka & Karl-Hans Strauss Collection, including letters from Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Paul Signac, Jean Cocteau, Raoul Dufy, Auguste Renoir and Auguste Rodin.

Minka & Karl-Hans Strauss were eclectic collectors with a passionate interest in theatre and music. Many musicians, writers, sculptors and artists visited the Strauss’ home at 22 Place Vendôme, invariably leaving a memento.

One of the few copies on papier japon of La Prose du Transsibérien et la Petite Jehanne de France was offered by Blaise Cendrars to his childhood friend, the Swiss sculptor August Suter. La Prose du Transsibérien is today considered the most innovative and dazzling book of the 20th century: a modernist icon and pure work of art, combining poetry and painting. This perfect copy, with its original leather cover painted by Sonia Delaunay, is of remarkable freshness (est. €100,000-150,000 / $131.000-196.500).

Paul Eluard’s own copy of the album A Toute Epreuve published in 1930, containing expressive poems in his hallmark style, in a both magnificent and subtle Surrealist binding by Paul Bonet (est. €40,000-60,000 / $52.400-78.600). The sale also features the first illustrated edition of A Toute Epreuve (1958) with 80 engravings by Joan Miró, further enriched with a large original drawing (est. €60,000-80,000 / $78.600-104.800); and Fureur et Mystère (1948) complete with eleven handwritten poems by René Char (est. €30,000-50,000 / $39.300-65.500).

The sale’s illustrated modern books include Pierre de Ronsard’s Florilège des Amours, one of the initial print-run of twenty copies with 128 original lithographs by Henri Matisse, clad in a Paul Bonet binding (est. €45,000-50,000 / $58.950-65.500).

Today's News

April 21, 2013

Controversial breast implants become works of art at La piscine de Frais-Vallon in Marseille

Matisse, Mondrian and Turner among the highlights of the exhibition programme for 2014 at Tate

Penn's Arthur Ross Gallery presents La Tauromaquia: Carnicero, Goya and Picasso

Christie's, Leonardo DiCaprio and world's top artists team up for wildlife benefit

The Bowes Museum lends king's lace collar to Royal Collection Trust exhibition

Sotheby's in Paris to offer important manuscripts from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries

"Over, Under, Next" explores the radical use of diverse materials at the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum

Michaan's Auctions announces sale of Treasures of Louis C. Tiffany from the Garden Museum, Part 2

Irish artist Aleana Egan's first exhibition with Kerlin Gallery opens in Dublin

Pacific Asia Museum announces new Contemporary exhibition Takashi Tomo-oka

Milwaukee Art Museum announces Tanya Paul as new Curator of European Art

Rana Begum's first solo-exhibition in Cologne opens at Galerie Christian Lethert

Asia's leading international art fair brings Hong Kong artists to London in June

Kemang Wa Lehulere's debut solo exhibition in the United States opens at Lombard Freid Gallery

Rhythm & Improvisation: John T. Scott & his legacy exhibited at Louisiana Art & Science Museum

The partial contents of a fine Palm Beach oceanfront estate to be auctioned by A. B. Levy's

San Jose Museum of Art features contemporary works that feature scenes from classical Greek mythology

Incredible hypercar "full house" tops spectacular Ferrari extravaganza

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful