Le centaure

Dublin Core


Le centaure


Claudius Linossier


Lyon: Cercle Gryphe



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Brief Notes on Book

73 plates printed by woodblock in black, red, silver, and gray
Maurice de Guèrin, Le centaure
Lyon: Cercle Gryphe, 1929
Decoration par Cl[audius]. Linossier
Gravée sur bois par Ph[ilippe]. Burnot
Imprime par Audin de Lyon
No. 110 of 133 copies
Black leather binding with doublures, protective case, and two Linossier plaques


We love this book, both for its 73 vibrant, geometrical wood blocks, mainly printed with unswerving symmetry on facing pages, and for its multiple associations with Lyon, a favorite city. Claudius Linossier, its designer, was a dinandier, a metal smith whose vases and plates are highly valued. This, his only book, supposedly took two years to complete. The commissioners were members of a recently created bibliophilic society, reflecting French practices of the day. We purchased it from a Paris book dealer whose origins lay in Lyon. Our copy has, set upon its binding, front and back, two metal plaques devised by Linossier, one square, the other triangular. Very different in color, finish, and material from the laquer plaques created by Jean Dunand for bindings at about the same time, but possibly influenced by their example. The printed pages are quintessentially moderne, another source of special appeal for us; the metallic silver ink highlights the seemingly infinite variations. Except for the author, the makers of the book– the Cercle Gryphe, designer Linossier, engraver Philippe Burnot, and printer, Marius Audin–constitute a virtual salade Lyonnaise, reflecting the city’s historic role as a printing center. It hosts today a Museum of Printing and Graphic Communication. The Charles de Guèrin prose poem, Le Centaure, first printed in the 1840s, has been illustrated by more than half a dozen French artists, usually in conjunction with Guèrin’s La Bacchante. Linossier’s formally ordered but quite fantastic gray, red, silver, and black presentation constitutes its most unusual interpretation.


Neil Harris and Teri J. Edelstein


Centaure Binding front.jpg
Linossier 1.png
Centaure stepped page.jpg


Claudius Linossier, “Le centaure,” Caxton Club Exhibits, accessed May 28, 2023, https://caxtonclub.omeka.net/items/show/16.