Cirque / André Suarès ; eaux-fortes en couleurs et en noir de Georges Rouault.

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Accession number: 
PML 76385
Suarès, André, 1868-1948.
Paris : Ambrose Vollard, 1939.
Purchased as the gift of Hanni and H.P. Kraus, 1979.
[8], 3-224, [2] pages : illustrations (wood engravings), 42 plates (aquatints, chiefly color) ; 45 cm

Library's copy comprises 3 identical title pages (1 on heavier paper, possibly intended as a wrapper); [5] pages taken from Rouault's Cirque de l'étoile filante (Vollard, 1938); pages 7-[225] of Suarès's text; the whole volume illustrated with 20 wood engravings and 10 color aquatints, the latter present in multiple states in color and in black.
The illustration statement in this copy differs from other surviving maquettes and lacks any mention of the "dessins gravés sur bois," despite their presence in the first part of the volume.
Wood engravings after Rouault executed by Georges Aubert; presumably printed by Henri Jourde; aquatints printed by Roger Lacourière.
At least six other maquettes for Cirque survive, dated 1933 or 1936. The first maquette was created in 1931, according to Johnson, p. 165.
Printed chiefly on Rives.
A set of aquatints from this series were issued by Rouault in 1945.

Black morocco, with variously colored calf onlays, gilt-tooled to a sunburst pattern; doublures and guards of orange suede; by Paul Bonet.
Variant Title: 

Maquette for Cirque


Maquette for Cirque, which remained unpublished at Vollard's death.


Bonet, innovator in luxury bindings and among the best known of twentieth-century French art binders, executed a number of bindings for Cirque. All variants on a single decorative theme, a style Bonet called à decor rayonnant, they evoke the blaze of radiating circus lights.

The book and binding make this the most splendid livre d'artiste in the Morgan's collections, in its enormous scale, original artwork, and quality of its paper and presswork.

Rouault worked on the series of illustrations over many years. The resultant book, however, was never formally published. It is likely that most of the few surviving sets of pages of text and illustrations vary in makeup. The present copy contains a large number of proofs of the illustrations.