PHOTOGRAPHIE 1940. Paris: Arts et Metiers Graphiques, November 1939. 90 heliogravure plates.

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Andre Lejard [Essayist]

Andre Lejard  [Essayist]:  PHOTOGRAPHIE 1940. Paris: Arts et Métiers Graphiques, November 1939. First edition. Quarto. Text in French. Thick photographically printed wrappers [designed by Pierre Boucher]. Wire binding. Unpaginated. 90 heliogravure plates. 34 text illustrations. Introductory text. Index. Elaborate period advertisements. Yapped wrappers edgeworn and faintly soiled. A bit of spotting early and late, with none of the heliogravure plates affected. All of the heliogravure plates in very good condition with trace wear to fore edge. A superior copy of this influential and easily-abused series. A very good or better copy.

 In the photographic camera we have the most reliable aid to the beginning of objective vision . . . -- Lázsló Moholy-Nagy

9.75 x 12.25 spiral-bound book with 90 heliogravure plates and 34 text illustrations. PHOTOGRAPHIE was an annual, special issue of the magazine Arts et Métiers Graphiques entirely dedicated to photography. Published under the direction of Charles Peignot, Arts et Métiers Graphiques was famous for its new photographic vision and has become the "Who's Who"of modern photography. Peignot and his friends Jean Cocteau, Maximilain Vox, A. M. Cassandre, Jean Carlu and Paul Colin formed the Paris-based group Union des Artiste Moderne, a group "strongly against anything backward looking."

PHOTOGRAPHIE published the work of the leading photographers of the period, as well as the work of successful commercial agencies. Many of the articles are illustrated with documentary photographs and film stills.

Contains Heliogravure plates by Herbert List [4 full-page images], Bill Brandt [2 full-page images], Brassai [2 full-page images], Erwin Blumenfeld, George Platt Lynes, P. Halsman, Florence Henri, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Pierre Verger, Jahan, Ilse Steinhoff, Marcel Gautherot, G. Karquel, Denise Bellon, Grete Popper, Sougez, Estelle Campbell, Marie et Borel, Dieter Keller, Nila Forest, Bob Churchill, Jan Lukas, Juliette Lassere, A. Alland, Yolla Niclas, R. Tietgens, Fred G. Korth, Remy Duval, Jean Reissmann, Denise Bellon, Ylla, Marcel Bovis, Papillon, Dieter Keller, K. Machatschek, A. Alland, Georges Martin, Ergy Landau, Roger Parry, Pierre Ichac, Robert Poznanski, Maywald, Nora Dumas, Laure Albin Guillot, Philippe Pottier, Jacques Dubois, Andre Steiner, Eugene Rubin, Heinrich Heidersberger, H. Froebel, Jean Weltzer and M. E. Marchesi.

Our century will be the age of the photograph. --Waldemar George

In 1925, the critic, poet, and one of the founders of Surrealism, Andre Breton, posed the question: when would 'all the books that are worth anything stop being illustrated with drawings and appear only with photographs?¹ A few short years after this statement, the photographic image had established itself as one of the most provocative, poetic, and radical forms of representation in modern society. A plethora of groundbreaking exhibitions, books and publicity, the work of some of the most influential figures in history of photography, ushered in the creative flowering of the medium across Europe. Unquestionably the increasingly effective presence of photography was tied to the emergence of these new recruits and their passionate conviction regarding its creative worth. It was out of this hotbed of revolution in the photographic form, that one of the most influential photographic annuals of the 20th century was published in Paris on the 15 March 1930. Photographie began life as a one off special issue of the graphic arts bimonthly magazine Arts et Metiers Graphiques (No 16). [Kerry William Purcell]

Heliogravure is praised by conneiseurs the world over, because of the incomparably rich palette of blacks and shades of gray, the breadth of tonal range, and its exquisite expressiveness. Despite these qualities, Heliogravure has pretty much disappeared over the last fifty years: the costly and time-consuming traditional heliogravure technique has been abandoned in favor of cheaper, faster modern industrial printing methods, such as offset and rotogravure.

In the early part of the 20th century, heliogravure was the method of choice for reproductions appearing in high quality books and artistic photographic reproduction. Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) employed the technique for reproducing the photographs appearing in his celebrated quarterly Camera Work,published from 1903 to 1917. Before World War I, many considered heliogravure as an artistic medium in its own right.

Heliogravure belongs to the same family of intaglio printing techniques as engraving, etching and aquatint. As such, it requires an especially good quality of thick paper, one that can draw out the ink from the furthest recesses of the etched copper. In like manner, the plate embosses the finished prints, for its form is impressed into the dampened paper as they pass together through the rollers. Printed by hand in limited quantities, each heliogravure is considered an original, and its value is accordingly assured.