This artist’s book by CLAIRE ILLOUZ was made in 2022, for the bicentennial celebrations of ERNST THEODOR AMADEUS HOFFMANN (1776 – 1822).

JUDGE’S CHOICE AWARD at the Oxford Fine Press Book fair, 2023.

An edition of five, it is entirely printed on silk, and includes 14 original dry point engravings, with watercolor.

Texts by Hoffmann and engravings were printed and mounted by the artist in Chérence, France. All copies are numbered, I/V – V/V, and signed by the artist.

This Artist’s Book originated as a commission from the BERLIN NATIONAL LIBRARY for the UNHEIMLICH-FANTASTISCH Project, a yearlong commemoration of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s bicentenary.

Rather than illustrating Hoffmann’s texts, the book presents an imaginary stroll through his “corridors”, jammed with his diverse obsessions. The subject of this extended engraved reverie is the multiplicity of Hoffmann’s interests, the constantly changing worlds within a story, so typical of his creative process. In this book it is the etchings that are “read” to perceive those transformations.

Fabric may seem strange here, but less so when you know that silk was quite in vogue for printing etchings in northern Europe, during the nineteenth century. Also, as Hoffmann was unlucky with money all his life, I chose to offer him a rare edition, on an unfamiliar, deluxe material.

Readers of Hoffmann will recognize many themes from his tales or from his life. But in my engraving work I tried to reach a balance between the known and the unknown. Thus, reading this book requires time — for the eye to wander around the page, to find its own rhythm of perception, and for readers to let themselves dream, in Theodor’s company.

Previous Next
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this
We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. View more
Cookies settings
Privacy & Cookie policy
Privacy & Cookies policy
Cookie name Active
Save settings
Cookies settings