The Liberation Collection – images (II)

This is the second in a series of posts that will focus on individual books in the Liberation Collection, and their illustrations. The first post is here.

Les yeux ouverts dans Paris insurgé / Claude Roy ; illustrations de J. Reschofsky.

The lively illustrations by Jean Reschofsky give this book a sense of vibrancy and immediacy—published in 1944, these drawings must have been done within a short period of time after the battle for Paris (if not during the battle itself). Despite the long list of his illustrated works on Wikipedia, The University Library currently only has three volumes with illustrations by Reschofsky: this volume, another in the Liberation Collection (“Hommage de Paris à ses libérateurs” which contains three drawings by him), and Eight days that freed Paris, by Claude Roy, published in London in 1945 (9538.d.334). The latter is a translation of Les yeux ouverts… and states in the introduction that “… Reschofsky, made his brilliant sketches in the thick of the fighting. The book was printed on the clandestine presses of the underground resistance movement and published in Paris while the events it described were still fresh in Parisian memories…” (page 7).

Thorens, berceau du maquis / Serge-Henri Moreau.                                      Liberation.c.134

Illustrated by the author, the little vignettes of daily events of the maquis in Thorens, France, are very detailed black and white drawings. Viewed in relation to the black and white illustrations, the hand-coloured first illustration (depicting Marianne being removed from her chains) in the Cambridge University Library copy might be considered fairly striking. While many books in the collection illustrate the liberation of Paris (such as Les yeux ouverts dans Paris insurgé, which uses Notre Dame as a background), these illustrations inspire a great sense of the landscape of the French Alps, as well as simple rural architecture. Serge-Henri Moreau is in fact better known as a painter and lithographer—catalogues of his appear in the Bibliotheque National de France’s catalogue from the early 1920s to the early 1930s.

Offrande : souvenir de la Libération / Millette Avril ; bois gravés de Georges Rousselle.

Page facing TP

Offrande (Liberation.c.140)

The frontispiece of this book is a woodcut by Georges Rousselle. The imagery is not difficult to decipher, but it is worth highlighting.

Josh Hutchinson

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