The art of Raphaël Freida


Illustrations by Raphaël Freida for a 1931 edition of Thaïs by Anatole France. I hadn’t come across Freida before and it’s impossible to say more about him or his work, information being frustratingly scant. The site where these are from has other editions of the same book illustrated by Georges Rochegrosse and Frank C Papé.



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10 thoughts on “The art of Raphaël Freida”

  1. Too bad there isn’t more info out regarding him, he’s very impressive. Maybe he’s a modern Mahlon Blaine and just prefers to stay away from the spotlight.

  2. Márcio: Yes, I like the symmetry of these.

    Wiley: One thing to bear in mind with any artist who seems to have vanished just before either the First or Second World War is that they may not have survived those events. Not saying that’s the case here but it may be.

  3. I have been collecting Freida for years. Mind you, there are only basically 5 major books – all posh de luxe items which now go for much moolah. The best, in my opinion, are the savage illos he did for Mirbeau’s ” Garden of Tortures” which are quite astonishing and capture – without equal – the noise, agony and brutalityof the written text. Definitely my favourite illustrator for this decadent masterpiece.

  4. I am going to have to keep my eyes open for the Mirbeau book. I’ve already a copy of ‘The Torture Garden’- what its called Stateside, it has to be the same book. I can only imagine Frieda illustrating that book would produce images worthy of words like ‘savage’ and ‘agony’. Thank you for that.

  5. Yes, Wiley, it’s the same book. Try googling it for repros of the illos or – if you’re rich enough – there may be copies for sale through ABE under “le jardin des supplices” using Raphael Freida as the “Keyword”; you won’t be disappointed!

  6. I disagree with Chaz. My favorite Freida titles are Thais, and Poems Barbares. Perhaps I’m being too squemish but the Mirbeau illustrations are a little too brutal if you have a cinemagraphic imagination like mine. They come across as too Clive Barker-ish!

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