In an elegant salon on the place Vendôme in Paris, Devambez perpetuated a prestigious tradition of luxury publishing, fine stationery and large format printing.
Founded in 1826, Devambez is unusual in that it brought together three activities, namely heraldic engraving for royal families, publishing, and art gallery management.
The famous gallery revealed scandalous drawings by Auguste Rodin and displayed the works of avant-garde artists such as Braque, Dufy, Matisse, Picasso, Modigliani and Foujita. It also organized the first ever exhibition of African and Oceanic art, with a catalogue featuring an introduction by the great poet Guillaume Apollinaire.
Devambez published some thirty limited edition art books illustrated by the leading artists exhibited in the gallery. Authors included major writers such as Joris-Karl Huysmans, Gustave Flaubert, Anatole France, Pierre Loti, Alphonse de Châteaubriant, Oscar Wilde and Paul Verlaine.
In 1928, Paul Poiret chose Devambez to publish his famous guide to Parisian luxury, entitled PAN. Annuaire du luxe à Paris. This book symbolizes the quest for elegance that makes Devambez a true artist of paper.
A quest that has spanned the years and which, in 2011, saw the publication of the book entitled Goyard: a precious limited edition of 233 copies, which revived techniques of typography faithful to the timeless ideal of refinement that has always characterized Devambez.
On 14 November 2012, Italian tradition encountered Parisian luxury: the Magliabechiano Room, a sumptuous showcase for some of the rarest books in Italy, provided the setting for a donation of a copy of the limited edition tome Goyard, Malletier. Maison fondée en 1792 to the Uffizi Library in Florence. Florence, cradle of Italy’s artistic heritage, is [...]
“All of Paris has been flocking there for days.” Thus Gil Blas announced the exhibition of 144 erotic drawings by Rodin that opened on 19 October 1908 at the Devambez Gallery. The scandalous sketches and quickly executed watercolours hung in the gallery’s salons were like captured moments, “readings of movements at first sight”, where, as [...]
In the early 1930s, Devambez became a leading light in the emerging field of product advertising, working exclusively with four of the most important poster designers in Paris at the time. Cappiello produced some of the most famous advertising images of the period, Roger de Valerio came up with a dashing image for Maurice Chevalier [...]
“The battle [was] now afoot between costly fashion and comfortable fashion”: fashion abandoned the corset under the banner of emancipation and freedom of movement, and shapes became simpler in the name of clean, elegant outlines. Sportsmen (the English word was used in chic French parlance) flocked to the racecourses, reserved for a modern elite who [...]
“A nostalgic chant that slowly rises, then swells, spreading like a rumbling storm that suddenly breaks”. 1922 was the year of jazz and American music hall. It was also the year of avant-garde extravagance, of Futurism and Dada, of experimental music where “noise replaces sound […] and harmony gives way to dissonance”. “Fashion philosophy of [...]
“A well dressed gentleman should not be conspicuous. […] Looking with blithe condescension upon the extravagant suits, oversized collars, gold chains and pointed hats of the Bohemian bousingots, the dandies, as true upholders of elegance, restrict themselves to embracing the principles – which constitute a philosophy of life – upheld by their undisputed master, Lord [...]
“The exhibitors present views of Montmartre, pictures of the heroes and regulars who throng to this Parisian district with its special character; we also see, perpetuated in pastel or crayon, aspects of the “Boulevardier” spirit and the boulevards themselves, and the allure of an elegant outline or a charming gesture, depicted with breathless curiosity”. The [...]
“The journal of elegance, good manners and everything of interest to gentlemen”: distinction was the hallmark of Monsieur, a monthly magazine launched in Paris in 1920 in an exclusive numbered edition of 100 copies signed by the publisher, and featuring a series of original engravings. Monsieur quickly became the essential reference “not for dandies, but [...]