Illustrations by Alexandre Lunois (1863–1916), engraved by Léon Boisson (1854–?)
Half-binding by H. Mérienne (20th century)
In the original compositions by Alexandre Lunois, which were rendered in burin engravings and etchings by Léon Boisson, Gautier’s romanticism finds its perfect pictorial expression via a process of ekphrasis.
The volume kept in the Calouste Gulbenkian Collection contains three series of proofs of state of the prints, some of which are avant la lettre, with notes in the margins, and some of which are avec la lettre in the text. This specimen retains the cover of the original soft cover. The binding which Merienne was commissioned to produce after the work was purchased dates from 1924.
Le roman de la momie was published for the first time as a serial in 1857. It appeared the following year under the imprint of the Hachette publishing house and became an enormous success. The story of the beautiful Egyptian woman Tahoser and her ill-fated love for a Jew, which was tragically interrupted by the Pharaoh whom she was to marry, is narrated to us after the discovery of her sarcophagus by an English Lord and a German archaeologist.
Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian, through Henri Leclerc, at the Stilling sale, Paris, 1920.
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