The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations

Éditions Artulis - Cahiers de l’Île du Diable d’Alfred Dreyfus

The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations support Editions Artulis’ publication of the first edition of the Devil’s Island notebooks by Alfred Dreyfus. Editions Artulis specializes in publishing fine books, focusing particularly on fabrication as an essential complement to the text. The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations – recognized for their historical patronage of exceptional craftsmanship – share with the publishing house a conviction that the care invested in creating a work is just as important as the contents. The Foundations thus contributed to publishing two special editions for bibliophiles.

Editions Artulis: the book as an art form

The publishing house uses form and content to distinguish the singularity, value and rarity of fine books. Since 1998, Editions Artulis endeavors to showcase texts through a unique presentation, doing so without shying away from making use of cutting-edge technology. The care taken in the choice of paper, ink and binding underscores the importance these editors place on fostering a passion for writing and editing.

The publications give rise to questions about politics and language, sparking reflection on the role of the book in its current form.

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The first joint project by the Foundations and the Editions Artulis: paying homage to a man of honor who refused to capitulate

The Foundations are particularly attached to the protection and transmission of artisanship. Editions Artulis appealed to their patronage through its singular and meticulous approach to publishing. The Foundations were proud to support the publication of a work on Alfred Dreyfus’ Cahiers de l’Ile du Diable. Alfred Dreyfus remains a source of inspiration for the courage, integrity and struggle he represents. An important juncture in the history of French republican values, the Dreyfus Affair – and the man at its center – led the Rothschilds to reaffirm their citizenship and social commitment to France.

This unique publication includes the transcription of the author’s notes, critical commentary and a facsimile of one of the notebooks. In addition, a digital version is available on the website of Editions Artulis. The work shows how a man who has been deprived of everything finds the will to live by deepening his knowledge of the humanities. Designed for wide distribution, this powerful work provides food for thought about justice, anti-Semitism and rejecting all forms of hatred.

Second project: showcase for universal masterpieces

In the wake of the 2009 success of the special edition of Captain Alfred Dreyfus’ Cahiers, a new project has taken shape: the creation of a beautifully crafted book to pay homage to the illustrious collection of Baron Edmond Adolphe de Rothschild, great grandfather of the current chairman of the Edmond de Rothschild Group. This collection is composed of drawings, prints, manuscripts and rare books. It includes masterpieces by Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Durer and Raphael – works illustrating the marvelous and abundant richness of 18th century French prints and exceptionally rare 15th century incunables and niello pieces (metal artworks created by Florentine goldsmiths).

Baron Edmond de Rothschild was an astute collector who developed a keen interest in fine prints and engravings from the age of 14. Throughout his lifetime, he ceaselessly built up his art collection, which rivals in importance with the collections of major public institutions. Thanks to his perseverance and careful attention, he succeeded in gleaning the rarest pieces from the late 14th century to the late 18th century.

He allowed only excellent works of art into this veritable museum of engravings. Today this invaluable collection contributes to fulfilling the Louvre Museum’s national and universal mission. In 1934, Baron Edmond’s heirs decided to honor their parents’ memory by donating the collection to the Louvre, which led to the creation of a specialized department devoted to these works – the Prints and Drawings Department, which is comprised of the collection of drawings, the Baron Edmond de Rothschild Collection and the collection of engraved plates of the Louvre Museum.
This book recounts the story of the passion and meticulous care involved in creating this collection. It also details its history – from founding a new department at the Louvre to the tragic years of World War II in Europe.

The collection’s fate was the same as that of many of the Louvre’s major works during these dark years. Initially sent to Château Chambord, it traveled with the Mona Lisa and many other masterpieces to safety in Touraine, out of harm’s reach during the Nazi occupation and during bombings. A gem among donations to the French national museums since the 19th century, the Edmond de Rothschild Collection exemplifies the importance of cultural and universal heritage. It is a symbol of passion for all forms of artistic expression and today continues to represent a commitment
to innovation as much as to conservation.