[ Righi, François ] Grégoire, Marie. Heures Dispersées. [ Paris ] : François Righi. 2014.
This book features drawings and thoughts inspired by the coffered ceiling in the oratory of the Hôtel Lallemant, a Renaissance-era building in Bourges. The recessed panels of this ceiling are decorated with alternating crest and cherub emblems, and each type of panel provides the inspiration for the various illustrations in this book. The fourteen coffers decorated with cherubs are the stimulus for Righi’s intricate drawings and calligraphies showing the circles of time, while the sixteen coffers decorated with crests are the inspiration for the engraved frontispiece. Two additional engravings further illustrate the book.
This volume is part of a larger trend in the Righi’s work, which in his own words, “attempts to inscribe one within the other the spaces of a place and of a book.” The coffered ceiling of the Hôtel Lallemant is also the subject of the book Le Miroir Volatil (2003), a collaboration between Righi and Robert Marteau.
The text for Heures Dispersées was set in Antique Olive and printed by Émile Moreau in Henrichemont. The full-page spreads of drawings were printed lithographically by Michael Woolworth in Paris. The engravings were printed in relief by the artist. This volume is stab sewn in the Eastern style with a wrapper of lightweight Eastern-made paper. It is protected by a chemise covered in light grey paper, which fits into a clamshell box covered in decorative, indigo-colored Eastern-made paper.
This deluxe edition is one of only 3 copies that are accompanied by an engraved copper plate used in the printing of the book. This copy includes the plate for the first print in the book which is featured on the book’s paper wrapper. The plate is mounted on a board lined with decorative, indigo-colored paper and is protected by a white facing mat. Housed in the box with the book, the mat is titled and signed by the artist below the plate.
The deluxe copy with the second plate has been acquired by the Koopman Collection of French books held by the National Library of the Netherlands. It, along with four other of Righi’s books recently traveled to the Grolier Club in New York where they were exhibited as part of the exhibition entitled “The Imaginative French Book in the 21st Century.”
This book was created in an edition of 31, with 3 copies hors commerce. This copy is numbered 1 and signed by the author and artist at the colophon.
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