Le Désert de Retz; Le Jardin Pittoresque de Monsieur de Monville, A Late Eighteenth-Century French Folly Garden
San Francisco: The Arion Press, 1990. Kenna, Michael. Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of 400 copies, unnumbered, oblong quarto size, 115 pp., signed by Michael Kenna. Fine. Item #19052004
The Désert de Retz is a landscape garden in north-central France, known for its lavish architecture in the style of classical antiquity, created by French aristocrat François Racine de Monville (1734-1797) on his extensive estate.
This edition by the Arion Press features facsimiles of engravings of the garden's architecture and greenery, reproduced from 1785, as well as black-and-white photographs by Michael Kenna (b. 1953), who uses a long exposure to create haunting photographs with unusual and ethereal lighting; here his photographs capture an eery sense of beauty in the geometric and organic forms of the garden.
Diana Ketcham, a prominent writer of architecture whose works have been awarded the Berlin Prize and the American Institute of Architects Book Award, the senior editor at Arion Press since 1993, provides an essay about de Monville's garden, ruminating on the history of the garden, its creation, and subsequent place in French culture and art.
___DESCRIPTION: Full navy cloth, grey paper labels with blue ruled borders and lettering on the front board and spine, grey-blue endpapers, frontispiece a facsimile engraving captioned "The house of the Désert, belonging to Mr. de Monville.", twenty-six facsimile engravings (including frontispiece) in black and white throughout, thirty-two black-and-white photographs by Michael Kenna at the back of the book; Cochin type, Lustro dull-coat paper, oblong quarto size (10.25" by 16"), pagination: [1-4] 5-113  [1 colophon], one of 400 copies, unnumbered, signed by Michael Kenna on the page preceding the photographs.
___CONDITION: A fine copy; the covers clean, the corners straight and unrubbed, the binding tight with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; clean, crisp, as new.
___CITATION: Arion Press Catalogue, no. 30.
___POSTAGE: Please note that this is an extremely large and heavy book, therefore additional postage may apply; please inquire for details.
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