Le roman de Tristan et Iseut.
Paris: L'Edition d'Art H. Piazza, 1900.
At the close of the 19th century Wagner's opera "Tristan" opened in Paris, and many French were horrified by what they perceived as the German appropriation of what they considered "their" story.
A leading medievalist, Joseph Bedier, set out to reconstruct the primordial, French version of the Tristan and Isolde story, and publisher Henri Piazza convinced Robert Engels to illustrate it.
The result is one of the truly great art nouveau illustrated books. This is the first edition of both the text and the illustrations, both of which have been reprinted countless times in smaller formats and with inferior techniques.
Engels' hand-colored illustrations transform every page into a marvel of design.
Beautifully printed on thick handmade Vosges wove paper watermarked "Tristan et Iseut".
Edition limited to 300 numbered copies.
Large folio. Original wraps, with an embossed design on the front cover. Uncut. FINE AND BRIGHT, both inside and out, with the colors very fresh. In the original folding case (somewhat worn).
Very rare, especially in such fine condition.