Monday, June 14, 2010
Serendipitidy finds my best bookshop
Friday morning sat in street cafe in central Brussels and watched the world go by – in all shapes, forms and colours. Quite amazing – if only I could shoot my camera unseen to catch the severe black burka, for example, with a colourful and sexy midriff dress; or the young woman in a fluffy white dress whose arms were covered with tattos!
I wandered through the old square as a tourist – and then ventured up the hill toward Gare Centrale to check the old bookshops I used to frequent there 25 years ago. What I discovered was my Aladdin’s Cave – an old house stretching to five floors and groaning with books and pamphlets. Surely the greatest bookshop ever for me! POSADA ART BOOKS Rue de la Madeleine 29 – http://firstname.lastname@example.org
I asked about Belgian realist paintings and Constantin Meunier and de Groux in particular – which established my eccentricity since few books exist on this period (mainly latter part of the 19th century). I did lose a bit of credibility, however, by revealing my ignorance that there were in fact 2 de Grouxs. Professional pride and curiousity was, however, aroused – and I had half an hour’s great help from an American customer who knew a great deal about the subject and who managed to track down exactly what I was after – which was a considerable feat as neither of us knew what that was! It turned out to be Arbeit und Alltag - soziale Wirklishkeit in den belgischen Kunst 1830-1914 produced in 1979. Even the toilet was crammed with sketches and posters. In one section I found a 1947 publication (in A4 size) on L'art Moderne Bulgare (which managed to omit mention of Nicolas Tanev (and others) but which was still worth buying for its woodcuts, perspective and rarity (I have seen no other book on the subject). I had paid and was (reluctantly) heading out almost 3 hours after entering (along with a catalogue for a Paris sale later in month of Orientalist stuff) when, typically, I hit gold – a 1904 first edition of a book on Die Belgische Mahlerei – with pictures of many of the relevant painters!