Edy-Legrand I: Illustrator

Macao et Cosmage, a book for French children, was published in November 1919, when Edouard Leon Louis Legrand (known as Edy-Legrand) was just 18. It’s brightly coloured illustrations show the contemporary influence of Fauvism and jazz, and are rendered in the technique of pochoir in which is pigment is applied to the page through stencils. The book presents a very colonial view of island territories in which life is depicted as invariably happy and tranquil; indeed it is subtitled “the experience of happiness”. Now very rare, the book is now seen as pivotal in moving children’s illustration out of the heavy and ornate Victorian style of Dulac and others into an avowedly Modernist style.

Update May 2015: Macao et Cosmage was sadly damaged in the Mackintosh Library fire, but was salvaged as part of archaelogical excavations and is now awaiting conservation treatment.



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