Exhibition: Pantagruel illustrated by André Derain

André Derain (1880-1954), one of the founders of Fauvism, illustrated Pantagruel by Rabelais. He captures all the joy, playfulness and humanism in the book.

This André Derain masterpiece represents a prestigious art book acquired by the Concil of Indre-et-Loire to enrich the collections of the Rabelais Museum with the support of the Regional Department of Cultural Affairs in Center-Val-de-Loire region.

Les Horribles et espouvantables faictz et prouesses du très renommé Pantagruel, roy des Dipsodes, fils de grand géant Gargantua is adorned with 178 colored woods designed and created by André Derain. Commissioned from the artist by the Geneva publisher Albert Skira, Pantagruel illustrated by Derain was published in 1943 in Paris. This book is one of 35 numbered copies. Unbound, it allows visitors to admire a suite of 22 full original pages presented separately in loose sheets, to which are added 2 additional color proofs by the artist

This is Derain’s most important engraved work. He worked there for three years, inventing a new printing process that consisted of hand-coloring the woods he had carved, and printing them on an intaglio press. He takes the card game as his source of inspiration, and the images are as much medieval as they are truly modern. These unique shimmering illustrations perfectly evoke the universe of Rabelais.

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