Paris: Société des Cent Une, 1955
(French and Greek, with an introduction by Marguerite Yourcenar.)
Vol. I: folio (15 x 11-3/4 in.; 380 x 300 mm). Facing original drawings of
title and adult monkey grooming infant, signed by Trémois, tipped in,
and 35 etchings and aquatints by the artist, some double-page. Full crushed
light brown jansenist morocco by Georges Cretté, tan silk doublures,
uncut edges gilt, spine tooled in gold and brown; original wrappers bound
in; ; in a quarter-morocco clamshell box by Nello Nanni, the hand-milled flax
cover paper uniquely marbled by Iris Nevins. With the leather bookplate of
Francis Kettaneh. No. 25 of 39 copies (of 140) reserved for associates; signed
on the colophon page by the president and vice-president of the Société
des Cent Une and by the artist. Collates 4 ff., v,  pp., 1 f., 75, 
pp.,  ff.,  pp.,  ff.,  pp., 3 ff., 1 blank f., 1 f.,  double-page.
Vol. II: imperial folio (26-1/2 x 17-1/4 in.; 675 x 440 mm.). Original drawing
and calligraphic title by Trémois, inscribed by the artist to Francis
Kettaneh, followed by 27 etchings and aquatints in the first state on unfolded
double pages, each signed in ink by the artist. Iris Nevin's marbled flax
paper over quarter-vellum covers, in Nello Nanni's quarter-morocco clamshell
box. Unique volume created for Francis Kettaneh.
Francis Kettaneh acquired three special sets illustrated by Trémois
directly at the original issue in the 1950's, being the Adonis of
La Fontaine, the Pasiphaë, Le Chant de Minos of Montherlant and this
one. All three passed directly from Kettaneh's estate into the inventory of
H.P. Kraus, who himself enjoyed an amicable personal acquaintance with Trémois.
Of the three, this production has by far the superior artistic merit, in terms
of the overall graphic quality and interest of the illustrations.
Born 1921, Trémois studied at the Beaux-Arts in Paris and in 1943 won
the Premier Grand Prix de Rome de Peinture. Elevated to the Académie
des Beaux-Arts of the Institut de France in 1978, he holds one of the four
chairs of the Fourth Section, Gravure. Bestaires, as this one, are centerpieces
in his art, and La Fontaine's monkey is an icon for Trémois himself:
"Venez, Singe; parlez le premier, et pour cause."