Lot 382: [FRANCE- THEATRE] Isidore Taylor (1789-1879)
October 29, 2016
Wells, ME, USA
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Description: [FRANCE- THEATRE] Isidore Taylor (1789-1879) born in Brussels he was closely associated with the development of French theatre, a noted traveller and author, and a philanthropist. Ennobled in 1825 by King Charles X, he was by this time collecting Spanish art on behalf of the new French King Louis Philippe I, who made him a Commissioner of Art in 1838. Previously, he had been very active in the theatrical world and was made Royal Commissioner of the Theatre Francaise between 1825-38. During this period he used his position to encourage the production of Romantic drama. Among those he helped was Alexandre Dumas, who dedicated to Taylor his first successful play, Henri III et sa cour (The court of Henry III, 1829). Taylor himself authored plays with a Levantine background, Ismael et Maryam, ou l’arabe et la chrétienne (The Arab and the Christian, 1821) and La fille de l’Hébreu et le chevalier du temple (The Jewess and the Templar, 1823) and co-authored with Charles Nodier an adaptation of Charles Maturin’s successful drama, Bertram ou le pirate (1821). From the 1840s he began his philanthropic activity by setting up a series of mutual societies for members of the artistic professions that have continued to this day as the Taylor Foundation. In recognition of his work he was elected to the Académie Française in 1847, named a senator of the Second Empire in 1869 and made an officer of the Legion of Honour in 1877. Offered here is a document dated 1848, boldly signed by Taylor and by 13 others. One of the signers was Pierre Jules Théophile Gautier (1811-1872) French poet, dramatist, novelist, journalist, and art and literary critic. While Gautier was an ardent defender of Romanticism, his work is difficult to classify and remains a point of reference for many subsequent literary traditions such as Parnassianism, Symbolism, Decadence and Modernism. He was widely esteemed by writers as diverse as Balzac, Baudelaire, the Goncourt brothers, Flaubert, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Henry James, Proust and Oscar Wilde. Approx. 8-1/4 x 10-3/4 in. Not translated. Certainly worthy of further research.
Condition Report: VG