Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

Ooh La La!

Found today in an Oxfam Bookshop. Isn’t it gorgeous! I’ve never been any closer to Paris than Disneyland and flying past the airport on a train, but this has made me want to go. Although I’m sure this Paris is very hard to find now…

The jacket flap begins: Here is a book of complete enchantment. A book that evokes the spirit of Paris as individually as a whiff of a Gauloise.

Originally published in 1950, this is the revised and expanded version published in 1957 by Perpetua Books. (Ooh and set in Perpetua twelve point, on paper by the Inveresk Paper Co, at Musselburgh, Scotland, and bound by James Burn at Esher. I love it when typefaces get a credit!)

Kaye Webb writes in her introduction: We think Paris is novel and remarkable. We also think it is beautiful and stimulating. We believe the best way of proving this is to offer you drawings to look at. The text which accompanies them may be regarded as a faint prompting from the wings, a gentle murmur of conversation intended to keep you long enough before each picture to allow interest to awaken, memories to stir, and the charm of Paris in the springtime to sweep over you.

The book begins and ends with this image of the Eiffel Tower – something they view with ‘reluctant tenderness’.

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

Eiffel Tower from the Rue St Dominique

The Musée Rodin where the ‘nursemaids come and sit while their charges play round the plinths of Adam and Eve’.

Musée Rodin

Musée Rodin

There’s lots about the nightlife.

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

The Lido

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

La Rose Rouge

And of course the more morbid and macabre.

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

Père-Lachaise

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

Grand Guignol

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