Originally published by order of Napoleon Bonaparte and printed between 1809-1828, the original Description of Egypt is one of the masterworks of the printed book. The twenty volumes (10 of plates, 1 atlas, 9 text) were printed by the atelier Rémond, founded in Paris in 1793…the successor in intrest to this historic press is the atelier Didier Mutel, aptly named as it is home to master printer and engraver, Didier Mutel. Approximately 200 years later, Didier is breathing life into a reinterpretation of this historic and remarkable work.
The original was a benchmark in printing of the day, emblematic and historically and technically remarkable. Didier’s intent with this new project is both a homage and an extension…the bite of acid upon copper expanding to envelop digital contextualization. Where the original explored architecture on the grand scale, the new begins with an exploration of faces on the micro scale. For each of the 28 plates associated with the first volume (Blindness), Didier created a unique face…and then engraved 16 iterations of each plate. Though each engraving stands alone, their evolution(s) in series quite literally transforms them [seriously, don't miss this wonderful bit of etched animation].
Didier’s blog posts on the creation of the first book (in two volumes) can be found here (complete with unicorn pictures) and a .pdf description can be found here. It will be an edition of 15 copies and likely to be at least 10 volumes issued over the next 8-10 years. Please contact us if you would like further information about what is very likely to be a defining work of 21st century book art.