Charmes de Londres, Izis and Jaques Prévert
Charmes de Londres is a book of photographs taken in London in the late 1940s and early 1950s by the renowned photographer ‘Izis’. This is not just a book of photographs, it is also a book of poems and writings paying tribute to London compiled by the French poet, writer and film-maker Jaques Prévert (1900-1977).
The fascinating thing about this book is that it captures London in black and white just ten years before the Swinging London of the 1960s burst into colour. An interesting piece of social history.
The photographer, ‘Izis’ was a major figure in the French movement of humanist photography during the 20th Century. His full name was Israëlis Bidermanas (1911-1980). He was a contemporary of photographers such as Cartier-Bresson and Brassaï.
The atmospheric black and white photographs in this copy of Charmes de Londres are beautiful and capture the essence of post-war London. The book is printed in Gravure and thus the photographs have rich deep blacks and subtle tones – so much better than half-tone lithographs.
The text is in French. This is a first edition of Charmes de Londres. It was published by la Guilde du Livre, Lausanne, Switzerland in 1952, volume number 184, number 1866 of an edition of 10,300.
This is a soft cover book with a dust wrapper. The covers and spine are slightly scuffed. The inside pages and the photographs are clean and bright.
This is a beautiful and rare book.