On the occasion of the exhibition Huysmans. De Degas à Grünewald taking place at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, an illustrated version of the French novelist and art critic’s most famous text was published. Gallimard, the co-publisher, says the publication “confronts Huysmans’ text with an entire iconography that he either underlies or explicitly evokes.”
Sarah Martinon, art director and illustrator based in Paris, was in charge of the book’s layout as well as the creation of original marble-inspired illustrations used as chapter openers. These mesmerising patterns complement the text, now considered to be the ultimate example of Decadent literature, with a main character described by its author as “soaring upwards into dream, seeking refuge in illusions of extravagant fantasy.”
For the cover design and titles, Sarah Martinon used Bet (Revue Diorama), a typeface inspired by Jacoby & Fils’ poster wood typefaces from the end of the 19th century [see Series 4009–4019] — around the same time as “À rebours” was first published. The main text is set in Adobe Caslon, with page numbers in Akzidenz-Grotesk Bold. The chapter openers feature Nostra Stream (Lucas Descroix), whose wild and over-the-top curviness create a very interesting dialogue with Martinon’s colorful illustrations.