[French Art] [Curnonsky. (1872–1956)] [Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri de. (1864–1901)] [Monet, Claude. (1840–1926)] [Willette, Adolphe. (1857–1926)] [Faure, Jean-Baptiste. (1830–1914)] Bofa, Gus. (1883–1968) & Bonnat, Léon. (1833–1922) & Weiluc, Lucien-Henri. (1873–1947)

Collection of Autograph Letters and Exhibition Invitations

An important archive of materials related to art and visual culture in turn-of-the-century Paris.  From the collection of French culinary writer Curnonsky, this large grouping pertaining to French artists of the early twentieth century includes almost 40 vernissage invitations and exhibition programs received by Curnonsky, many with his name handwritten on the recipient line, for exhibitions by Toulouse-Lautrec, Claude Monet, Henry Somm, Adolphe Willette, and many others.  Overall in fine condition.  Some of the highlights include:

Striking large lithographed exhibition or publication advertisement poster depicting Hercules fighting the hydra, framed by the heading "Lithographies" and an extensive list of prominent artists' names.  Signed within the matrix left side with artists monogram "AR" or "RR" but we have been unable to positively identify the artist. Wear to edges, spotting to margin corners, else in fine condition.  17.5 x 21.5 inches (44.4 x 54.6 cm.).

Vernissage invitation to a 3 October, 1896 performance at Le Chat Noir decorated with Théophile Steinlen's iconic illustration for the influential 19th-century cabaret in the bohemian Montmartre district of Paris.

Invitation to a permanent exhibition of modern art at 18 rue Tronchet with an illustration by C. Leandre depicting a crowd gathered in front of a woman with a sack labelled "Bon Galette," together with a half-tone reproduction of the same image.

Vernissage invitation to the 25 April, 1930 opening of an exhibition by La Société des dessinateurs humoristes with illustration designed by the French printmaker Hervé Baille.  Invitation signed to lower right corner by Lucien-Henri Weiluc.

Invitation to a May 1902 exhibition of works by Toulouse-Lautrec at the Galleries Durand-Ruel, Paris.

Invitation to drinks celebrating Adolphe Willette on the occasion of his being appointed Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur, hosted by the Ligue pour la liberté de l'art on Thursday, 8 March, 1906.

Vernissage invitation, signed by Adolphe Willette, to the Wednesday, October 18, 1905 opening of an exhibition at l'Art à la taverne de Paris, featuring art from Chéret, Faivre, Grün, Léandre, Métivet, Steinlen, and Willette.

Program for an exhibition of works by Henry Somm at Salle Legrip from 10–25 July, 1907, featuring drypoint, drawings, and watercolors.  15 pp.  4.5 x 8.5 inches (11.4 x 21.6 cm.).

Program for a March, 1906 exhibition of 17 paintings by Claude Monet from the collection of art collector and celebrated baritone Jean-Baptiste Faure, hosted at Galeries Durand-Ruel in Paris.  Bifold.  Spot toning to lower margin, else in fine condition.  4.75 x 7.75 inches (12.1 x 19.7 cm.).

Other items in the collection include postcards, typed letters signed and autograph letters signed, some decorated with original drawings, addressed to Curnonsky by artist friends including Félix Bonafé, L. Bonnat, A. Feurgard, L. Lebéguy, René Lelong, Maurice Saulo, Philippe Tiranty, numerous letters and a drawing of Nice from someone identified only as "Nicole," and TLS from Joë Bridge inviting Curnonsky to join la République de Montmarte, an organization Bridge established in 1921 to preserve the neighborhood's communal artistic spirit in the face of modernism, together with a pamphlet describing the organization and how it functioned.  10 October 1886 - No 41 issue of Les Vendanges ("The Harvest"), an illustrated arts publication issued every Saturday, this issue heavily focused on the topic of wine.  Five unsigned original sketches of Félix-Sébastien Feuillet de Conches, the diplomat and art collector, and his family, together with newspaper clippings dated to 1951 advertising his Causeries d’un curieux, variétés d’histoire et d’art tirées d’un cabinet d’autographes et de dessins.  Original pen drawing of a dog by Léon Bonnat, signed "L.B.", original drawing in colored pencil of three ballerinas by "C. Rouat," and a humorous unsigned drawing of a Napoleon-esque figure carrying his massive belly in a wheelbarrow and captioned "J'arriveras apres le gotage!!!" ("I will arrive after the tasting!!!").

Provenance: from the collections of Curnonsky (Maurice Edmond Sailland), the celebrated French writer on gastronomy, and the art dealer and collector Michel de Bry.

Maurice Edmond Sailland, better known by his pen-name Curnonsky (or "Cur"), and dubbed the "Prince of Gastronomy," was the most celebrated writer on gastronomy in France in the twentieth century. He wrote or ghost-wrote over 65 books and enormous numbers of newspaper columns. He is often considered the inventor of gastronomic motor-tourism as popularized by Michelin. (15684)

Art & Design