BAC FERDINAND (1870-1938) DESSINATEUR ET ÉCRIVAIN

Lot 47
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BAC FERDINAND (1870-1938) DESSINATEUR ET ÉCRIVAIN

15 L.A.S., 1946-1952, to Emily; 25 pages, various sizes.


Beautiful correspondence full of fantasy and memories, from the artist's last years.


November 9 [1946], on her radio broadcasts... June 18, 1947. He may go to Nogent at the invitation of Pierre Germari: "it depends on my approach and my state, each day tested by the "firemen" who pump my memories (yesterday and the day before... 3 professors! an artist and an engraver)"... June 29, 1947 (signed "Le Juvenceau centenaire"), thanking for the welcome "which reflects so well the inspirer and the good fairy of the house, you. These tutoiements, these kisses on the cheeks, are a thing that belongs to the world, so misunderstood by the gaigneurs, the race of profits, the faithful of the Pharisees' mass, as the obvious emanation of Hell, of the devil, of perversity. Ah, my lords! I think of Madame Chose who, in the morning in the car, having never lived in the world of the "pestiferous", denounced me as the prototype of the "ancient Satyr", Divinity of the Styx and sowing on his way the lamentations of a hundred thousand deflowered virgins and thus the damned fruit of the Saturnalia"... July 12, 1947 (signed "Hortensius"). He comments on the vignette he stuck at the head of the sheet: "Here is the Villa Medici where I lived so much, tasted the charm of the gardens and the simplicity of Denys Puech, a friend so honest"...


Saturday morning Wednesday [1948 ?] On his alleged wealth: "I only charge 30 cents an hour for my dirty croquaillons who dirty paper [...]. So here it is: since 1889 I have been sleeping on a mattress and a bed base that makes me believe I am sleeping on organ pipes. Finally we replaced some springs. I took the opportunity to put six hundred million in the bottom. No one will know. But when I die (& plant a willow tree in the cemetery, as Musset says) we can make fire with it. Then I would have done better to pay a frame to all the people to whom I offer my little crap to get rid of it"... He gives a clownish illustration of his "extreme senility", and talks about DELACROIX's Diary: "I noted all the people who surrounded him, those he loved, those who bored him, those he hated (see National Institute of Hate). There are only 5 that he hates: Flandrin (his bête noire) Couture (ill-bred) and Flaubert (badly dressed, dirty). Then Balzac (idem). Ingres does not. He only says that he is ridiculous. That's true. And me? Am I not ridiculous?"... January 29, 1949. "My fatigue consists of an abnormal brain activity which means that, for my 3 meals a day, I don't stop for a minute to continue my work. The doctor tells me that this is not a bad sign"... 12 December 1951. "General condition very nonagenarian... alas! So excuse the child of 1859 born in the middle of the crinolines... Very touched by the "Old Luxembourg" and the signatures. It is a precious memory, doubly so because of the gift and my own recollection of youth. Of those mentioned I knew and frequented Leconte de Lisle, saw G. Vicaire and Verlaine, and loved A. France and J. Massenet, the latter a very dear friend who frequented my home on the Place des Vosges"... Anecdote on MASSENET... 30 December 1951. "I gave the Curator of the Romantic Museum my 1865 photo of my mother in crinoline and the little boy [...] It was at the moment when Pauline de METTERNICH pointed with her fan at the entrance to the Hotel S. Petersburg in Baden, where we were to meet. Petersburg in Baden where we were going to consult the phrenologist Bossard, and pronounces these "historic words" "Madam!


Beware of this little boy! He does not have the eyes in his pocket!"... March 1, 1952. His bust of Denys PUECH "disappeared from the Museo Napoleonico. It is fantastic! The day before the inauguration we had bought a red and white marble table to put it on. It was even photographed in the first room of the F. Bac Donation. Where are we going? I know.


I am already on the bridge to Elsewhere"... March 11, 1952. "Every day people come here to "pump" the memories of the nonagenarian. I have always said that I was "posthumous" because I am anti-reclamationist, but if I live a few more years I will become a contemporary"... August 10, 1952. Amusing anecdote on the marriage of Gabriel HANOTAUX in 1913: "During nearly 40 years it was a happy household"... Etc. AN ANOTHER old postcard annotated is attached.

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