Arthur Rimbaud, 1925

Possibly Frans de Geetere’s first book illustration commission, the request from Paris bookseller-publisher René Bonnel for five plates to accompany an edition of Arthur Rimbaud’s 1923 poem about the joyous animal nature of sex was a perfect subject for Frans’s creativity. The frontispiece shows Rimbaud with an immense erection, an interpretation of which both poet and artist were justifiably proud.

     Oh! de même être nus, chercher joie et repos,
     Le front tourné vers sa portion glorieuse,
     Et libres tous les deux murmurer des sanglots?

     Oh! To be naked, to seek joy and rest,
     My face turned towards its glorious reward,
     Both free, uttering murmuring sobs?

The limited numbered edition of 161 copies was published under Bonnel’s Aux Écluses de Paris imprint.