Rodney T. Swan’s article “The Post-Liberation Resurgence of the Livre d’artiste in France: A Quantitative Analysis” reveals that the French livre d’artiste experienced a previously undetected resurgence in post-liberation France as it participated in the efforts to rebuild national unity and reclaim the nation’s earlier artistic leadership. Rodney Swan is an adjunct academic at the University of New South Wales, Australia and a scholar in the use of the livre d’artiste as an instrument of cultural resistance in World War Two France.
To establish that a resurgence of the livre d’artiste occurred in post-liberation France the article established a set of criteria which helped identify every livre d’artiste published in France in the century since the first publication in 1874. Unfortunately, different components of the data, especially for the lesser known artists and publishers, particularly those who have no catalogue raisonnés of their work, are scattered across multiple sources in varying formats. Some of the data were located in catalogues of exhibitions and collections from public, private and commercial galleries; in catalogues raisonnés of some of the artists; in research papers; and in catalogues from auction houses. In many instances, particularly for the lesser known artists and publishers, some of the data, such as paper type or font was not available, and in these instances a ‘nil’ entry was recorded. It was a long painstaking effort to locate all possible candidates for analysis. In all, approximately four thousand illustrated books were identified and checked against the criteria to determine whether they could be classified as a livre d’artiste. There is a reasonable level of confidence that this research identified the vast majority of livres d’artistes produced in France between 1874 and 1975. This unique information is recorded in a specially designed database and shows that between 1874 and 1975 in France there were 515 livre d’artiste published by 213 publishers with 103 artists creating illustrations for texts written by 268 authors. Because of its research potential two versions of the database are being publicly released, one is sorted by artist and the other by year of publication.
Cite this article:
Rodney T. Swan, “Livre d’Artiste Database 1874-1939 by Artist and by Year,” Book History Unbound (2019), https://www.sharpweb.org/book-history-unbound/2019/swan/.