Ponge, Francis and Fernand Mourlot: Braque Lithographe
A simply beautiful limited edition and hard-bound catalogue of George Braque’s lithographic work, with three original lithographs on the cover, the frontispiece and the decoration on the title page, and illustrated with 146 colo-lithographic reproductions. The book is in fine condition and retains the original board slipcase and glassine outer wrapper.
More images can be provided on request.
Editors: Francis Ponge and Fernand Mourlot
Title and date: Braque Lithographe, 1963
Size: 100.5 x 69.0 cms.
Fernand Mourlot (1895-1988) grew up in the family printing shop in Paris but it wasn’t until he took over in the early 1920s that he would change the fabric of printing forever. His influence fostered a resurgence of lithography, revealing it as a new avenue for expression and a new realm of possibilities for likes of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, Joan Miró, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger, and Alberto Giacometti to enrich their own work as well as fine art in general. Fernand cultivated the lithograph as a painter’s medium and the family studio on Rue Chabrol became a hub where he could invite artists to work directly on the stone, as if creating a poster. In 1937, the studio produced two posters (based on paintings by Matisse and Bonnard) for the Maitres de l’Art indépendant exhibition at the Petit Palais. The posters were of such excellent quality that it was clear they had attained the height of printing mastery. Fernand retired in the mid 1970s but his name remains to this day synonymous with rebirth of lithography.
Francis Ponge (1899-1988) was a French essayist and a renowned poet. Influenced by surrealism, he developed a form of prose poem, minutely examining everyday objects. He was born into a Protestant family in Montpellier in the South of France, the son of Armand Ponge, a banker, and his wife Juliette, née Saurel. He studied in Paris at the Sorbonne and the École de Droit where he read law. In 1918–19 he served in the French army and in 1919 he joined the Socialist Party.
Ponge worked for the Parisian publishing companies Editions Gallimard and Hachette and before the outbreak of the Second World War he was briefly an insurance salesman. His earliest poems were published in 1923, and he established a reputation in French literary circles. During the 1930s Ponge was associated with the Surrealist movement.
During the Second World War, Ponge joined the French Resistance. From 1952 to 1965 he held a professorship at the Alliance Française in Paris and in 1966 and 1967 he was a visiting professor at Barnard College and Columbia University in the US. In his later years Ponge was a recluse, living at his country house.