Felicien Rops - Victor ArwasLondon: Academy Editions, 1972, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper price clipped. Gift inscription to the head of the title page and again on a small, pasted in, notelet to the first blank. Minor age-toning to the lining papers. The contents complete, clean and tight otherwise.
Signed by the author, in name only, on the title page — without provenance. Includes: Colour plates; Black & white plates; Black & white drawings; Frontispiece;
From the cover: “The work of Rops has been virtually unknown to all except collectors since his death in 1898. Acknowledged as a master etcher whose skill in this medium has rarely been matched, an important influence on Munch, Rodin, Ensor and the Expressionists, famous and widely appreciated in his lifetime, this subsequent neglect can be attributed to the most obviously recognized quality of his art, its unashamed eroticism.
Coming from a comfortable bourgeois background, his first models were drawn from the earthy Flemish women of his native Namur and the very different world of the Brussel’s waterfront. But throughout his life his main inspiration was essentially literary, the writings of the French Decadents and Symbolists. The illustrations he did for Baudelaire, Huysmans, Peladan, Mallarme and d’Aurevilly were amongst his best and most powerful work and he participated fully in the fashionable Satanism and the pervasive sexuality of his circle.
But Rops work is redeemed from the limitations of mere sexuality by his tremendous sense of humour, his love of verbal and visual puns, his empathy with and sympathy for women and his tender and direct depiction of humanity from the fanatic Shaker girl he drew in America to the dignified old musician who visited his childhood home.
Victor Arwas, whose collection of Rop’s etchings rivals that of the Musee Rops in Namur, mounted the first, immensely successful, public show of Rop’s work in England. He has selected the illustrations in this book to give a balanced and comprehensive review of the scope of Rop’s graphic work and has contributed an amusing and informative introduction.”