Hand-painted books by Robaudi and Grivaz

The French painter and illustrator Alcide Theophile Robaudi (1850-1928) first studied with sculptor Gustav Bonardel (1837-1896) and landscape painter Flix Malard in Nice before being accepted into the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. There he worked under Jean Leon Gerome (1824-1904) and his later work still shows the influence of Gerome’s academic style. Robaudi became a sought after illustrator, designing plates for such authors as Dumas, George Sands, Balzac, Munger, and Verlaine.

Princeton University was recently given a unique copy of La cité des eaux by the French symbolist poet Henri de Régnier (1864-1936). The volume is completely hand- painted by Robaudi, including the text, in watercolor with gouache highlights. It was created and sumptuously bound for Louis Bougier in 1912, ten years after Régnier’s book of poems was released.

Our anonymous donor also presented us with Edmond Rostand’s Les romanesques (Paris, 1904). Unlike the Robaudi volume, this book is one of ten copies privately published by the painter Eugène Grivaz (1852-1915). Graphic Arts now owns copy no. 3. Each deluxe volume was hand-painted in watercolors and bound in an elegant, decorative binding.