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Fables of La Fontaine
ISBN 1565844041 / 9781565844049 / 1-56584-404-1
Publisher New Press, The
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In 1926, French art dealer and publisher Ambroise Vollard commissioned Marc Chagall to illustrate 100 legendary fables by La Fontaine (1621-1695). But with the advent of World War II and private acquisitions, the paintings ended up dispersed throughout Europe; the whereabouts of more than half are currently unknown. The remaining 44 illustrations are united in this handsome, slipcased volume. Essays that set both Chagall's illustrations and La Fontaine's timeless fables in their historical contexts are included, as well as a detailed biography of the artist. The colorful, whimsically designed fable texts, which curve and arch in response to Chagall's pictures, are just one refreshing element of this inventively constructed package, which measures only 8 1/4 by 9 3/8 inches. [via]