GIACOMETTI’S HEADS

Histoire de rats (journal de Dianus) avec trois eaux-fortes d’Alberto Giacometti.

Paris, Éditions de Minuit, 1947.

Small 4to, pp. 105, [1 (blank)], [2], [4 (blank)], with 3 etchings by Giacometti; an excellent copy, mostly unopened, in publisher’s grey wrappers, printed in black and white; very light rubbing at extremities; sticker numbered ‘773’ to preliminary blank.

£2750

Approximately:
US $3399€3052

Make an enquiry

Added to your basket:
Histoire de rats (journal de Dianus) avec trois eaux-fortes d’Alberto Giacometti.

Checkout now

First edition, limited to 200 copies, this numbered 97 of 160 copies on papier vélin teinté de Rives, with three original etchings by Alberto Giacometti.

The Swiss sculptor, painter, and printmaker Alberto Giacometti (1901–1966) is undoubtedly one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century. Giacometti inherited his passion for art and printmaking from his father Giovanni, an accomplished Post-Impressionist artist. Although nowadays best known for his sculptures, Giacometti experimented throughout his life with a variety of printing techniques, including etching, engraving, aquatint and lithography.

A former librarian of the Bibliothèque Nationale and the editor of the subversive Surrealist Documents, Georges Bataille (1897–1962) was an opponent of André Breton and among the principal supporter of Giacometti’s return to figurative art. In 1947 Bataille invited Giacometti ‘to illustrate his latest book, a semiautobiographical novel called A Story of Rats. […] The book’s main characters are illustrated by Giacometti and are all recognizable in his straightforward sketches of the men’s heads and the woman’s bust: Bataille is the gaunt, physically ill, masochistic, and lustful hero named D.; Diane Kotchoubey, soon to be Bataille’s wife, is his beautiful, uninhibited aristocratic lover B.; A., an ascetic priest stimulated by sadistic activities, either represents another aspect of Bataille or is Alexander Kojève, the Russian intellectual who was Bataille’s philosopher mentor. The story line takes the hero, his lover, and his priestly alter ego through a series of erotic adventures, which include sadomasochistic sex, near-death experiences, memories of torture, and sexual release while a rat is stabbed to death’ (Laurie Wilson, Alberto Giacometti: Myth, Magic, and the Man, New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 2003, p. 226).

The three etchings included in Histoire des rats illustrate a recurrent theme in Giacometti’s artistic production: ‘The issue of the human head was the central subject of Giacometti’s research throughout his life, as well as the reason for his exclusion of the Surrealist group in 1935. In that year, the representation of a head, which seemed to be a common-or-garden subject, was, for him, far from being resolved. The head and, above all, the eyes are the core of the human being and of life, whose mystery fascinated him’ (Fondation Giacometti).

Lust 81–83.

You may also be interested in...

CHANDLER’S TRAVELS IN GREECE: ‘THE ACCOUNT OF ATHENS IS VERY IMPORTANT; IT WAS THE MOST DETAILED CHANDLER, Richard.

Travels in Greece: or an Account of a Tour made at the Expense of the Society of Dilettanti.

First edition. The classical scholar, traveller, and author Chandler (bap. 1737, d. 1810) was educated at Winchester College and Queen’s College, Oxford, and awarded a demyship at Magdalen College in 1757. Following the publication of an annotated collection of fragments by Tyrtaeus, Simonides, Theognis, Alcaeus, Sappho, and other Greek poets in 1759, Chandler published a catalogue of the Arundel marbles in 1763 as Marmora Oxoniensis. ‘In 1764 Chandler was introduced to the Society of Dilettanti by Robert Wood, editor of The Ruins of Palmyra, and was commissioned by the society to undertake a tour of exploration in Asia Minor and Greece in the first independent mission funded by the society. As treasurer he was given command of the expedition, and was accompanied by Nicholas Revett [...] and by the watercolour painter William Edmund Pars. They were instructed to make Smyrna their headquarters and thence “to make excursions to the several remains of antiquity in that neighbourhood”; to make exact plans and measurements; to make “accurate drawings of the bas-reliefs and ornaments”; and to copy all inscriptions, all the while keeping “minute diaries”. Having embarked from Gravesend on 9 June 1764 the party spent about a year in Asia Minor [...]. On 20 August 1765 they left Smyrna for Athens, where Chandler gloomily noted that the Parthenon was in danger of being completely destroyed. He bought two fragments of the Parthenon frieze that had been built into houses in the town and was presented with a trunk that had fallen from one of the metopes and lay neglected in a garden. Although the party visited other parts of the Greek mainland their plans to visit Ithaca, Cephallonia, and Corfu were abandoned, principally because of the group's poor health’ (ODNB).

Read more

KNAUST, Heinrich.

Feuwerzeugk Gerichtlicher Ordnunge, Proceß, Läuffe, und Sachen, so sich in Gerichte pflegen zuzutragen, Tabelweiß in drey Bücher der ersten und andern Instantz, Auch von rechtem gebrauch der Supplicationen, fein richtig und ordentlich verfasset und zusammen getragen. Jetzundt zum sechsten mal widerumb ersehen, gebessert, und mit vielen nützlichen auch nothwendigen Tractätlin und Zusätzen gemehret wie an folgender Seiten dieses Blats zusehen.

A very good copy of this expanded edition of one of the most popular compendia of law in the Holy Roman Empire, by the German lawyer, playwright, and poet Heinrich Knaust (c.1521- after 1577). Over the course of three books, Knaust presents a complete manual of criminal procedure, and a guide to the correct use of supplication. Unlike many, however, he makes a point of acknowledging and attempting to reconcile differing views on central matters from a variety of authorities, while writing in a clear and accessible style: the legal historian Roderich von Stinzing attributed its popularity to the ‘freshness and liveliness of the presentation, characteristic of this cheerful mind’.

Read more