[ Masson, André ] Malraux, André. Les Conquérants. Paris: Albert Skira. 1949.
A novel by André Malraux with illustrations by Surrealist painter André Masson, Les Conquérants is a partnership between the work of two major French figures of the 20th century whose paths crossed more than once. The novel L’espoir (1948) had earlier united the work of these Malraux and Masson and years later, in 1965, Malraux as Minister of Cultural Affairs gave Masson his most important commission, that of painting the ceiling of the Théâtre de l’Odéon in Paris.
This novel, one of Malraux’s most famous works, was originally published in 1928 and portrays revolutionary events in 1920s China. Malraux himself had spent time in China in the early 1920s and he used these experiences as the basis of the events in the book. Included are original etchings by Masson who is known for his frequently violent imagery. Here Masson has created striking illustrations that complement the tense subject matter of the text. The illustrations consist of thirty-three hors texte original etchings with aquatint in two colors.
The volume comes loose as issued on deckled paper with the original paper wrapper and glassine. The book is housed in a paper-covered chemise and slipcase with the title printed in black on the spine of the chemise.
This copy is H.C. III out of 15 hors commerce copies in a total edition of 165. It is signed by André Masson and André Malraux in ink at the colophon.
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