Sims Reed Rare Books×

La Petite Classe

Legrand, Louis

Paris. Gustave Pellet, Editeur. 1908
An excellent, complete example of the de luxe issue of Louis Legrand's beautiful 'La Petite Classe'.

Louis Legrand (1863 - 1951) was fascinated by dance, issuing early illustrations of the cancan in 1891 as a supplement for the weekly satirical magazine 'Gil Blas'. Those illustrations became the basis for his book 'Cours de Danse Fin de Siècle' with etchings produced by Legrand after his watercolours and with a text by Erastène Ramiro. Thereafter Legrand continued to frequent dance studios and classes, taking a specific interest in ballet. His 1893 suite 'Les Petites du Ballet', with 14 etchings and aquatints, is concerned primarily with the behind the scenes life of aspiring ballerinas from a young age, as well as their teachers, relatives and other hangers-on. This later suite of etchings with aquatint and dry-point, a beautiful and highly accomplished technical production, takes professional ballerinas as its subject but Legrand's eye is again drawn to the performers' context: back-stage, rehearsing, dressing, waiting to go on and so on.

[Arwas 358 - 370; see Lugt 1191 & 1194].
Folio. (580 x 400 mm). 12 etchings with aquatint and drypoint by Louis Legrand, each signed and numbered in pencil by Legrand and with the publisher's stamp and initials at lower right and titled in pencil in the lower margin at the sheet edge, the plates printed with remarques on large uncut sheets of Japon. Loose as issued in original publisher's grey printed paper wrappers, front cover with title engraving with publisher's details and publisher's portfolio with central titles in gilt.

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