The signed drawing Gerda included in Louis Perceau’s personal copy of La Fontaine’s Contes

The Paris publisher Georges Briffaut was always looking for talented illustrators, especially for the perennial classics, and following the success of Les délassements de l’Éros he commissioned Gerda Wegener to produce illustrations for a two-volume edition of the works of the seventeenth-century French fabulist Jean de La Fontaine.

Gerda produced nearly seventy drawings to accompany the tales, including vignettes, tailpieces and other decorations as well as the sixteen full-page illustrations. She clearly enjoyed producing these drawings, which display a lightness and wit contrasting with her more detailed work.

1,000 copies of the limited edition set were produced, of which 41 were on more expensive paper with an additional set of the plates in monochrome.