The first illustrated volume of the prose selections, of the complete works of de Musset (1949), consists of the writer’s rebellion-flourish, Confession of a Child of the Century. Accordingly, the text has evoked from our graphic designer some blue-chip nudes and other demonstrations that to be new is to be outrageous.

We won’t argue here about the validity of such a gesture; but we will maintain that the visual output, for the sake of an era undergoing stresses far beyond Age of Enlightenment frivolity, can be well captured in its dignity by the narrative range of Brunelleschi’s designs.

The first vignette seems very tame by 21st century reckoning; but it covers (dubiously, perhaps) stairways to the stars while still rooted in instinctive poise.


To make a career of beauty and not lose perspective.



A Romantic ideal of country life.




How much of this was fantasy and how much could withstand more modern motives?



Love in the country!



A pretty quiet revolution!



All well?



Trouble in Paradise.



As a coda to that plunge into dangerous motives, we’ll present a few other illustrated prose works to convey the energies with which writer and designer take up this challenge.

This is a moment in the novel titled, The English Opium Addict.



Brunelleschi’s inspired and generous presentation of the high hopes such dubious methods struggle for.



Where do you go from here?



Nature can be too much.



Nocturnal bliss!

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