Gourmet Fair

Time to Take the Night Flight: The Little Prince Lands in Paris

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry —« It was a garden blooming with roses », illustration for Chapter 20 of The Little Prince, circa 1943, watercolor and pencil on paper.. Stiftung für Kunst, Kultur und Geschichte, Winterthur. ©Coll. Succession Saint Exupéry–d’Agay © Photo: SKKG 2021. Photo courtesy MAD. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

Paris, France —It has been translated into over 400 languages, most recently into the Rapa Nui language of Easter island. The manuscript of the Little Prince written by the aviator, writer and illustrator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is being shown for the first time in his native France at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (MAD) alongside dozens of illustrations that showcase the pioneering aviator’s talent for drawing. It is one of the most widely translated books in the world and is owned by the Morgan Library & Museum in New York, where Saint-Exupéry wrote the highly humanistic and timeless novella in 1942 between his homes in Manhattan and Long Island while he was living in exile in the United States during World War II. So if you can’t be in Paris right now, The Gourmet Gazette brings the show to you.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry — First edition of Le Petit Prince, Reynal & Hitchcock New York (in French) 1943. The credit “With drawings by the author” appears on the cover. ©Coll. Succession Saint Exupéry – d’Agay. ©Photo : Fondation JMP pour LPP. Photo courtesy MAD. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

The exhibition brings together some 600 drawings, objects and documents celebrating Saint-Exupéry: the writer, poet, aviator, explorer, journalist and inventor. Among the highlights is the drawing of the Little Prince in ceremonial dress (below). “It is probably the most well-known drawing in the world,” explains Olivier d’Agay, the great nephew of Saint-Exupéry and the director of the Saint-Exupéry Succession. The show also highlights the author’s talents as an artist through watercolors, sketches and drawings, some of which are being shown for the first time. The Little Prince was published in the United States in 1943 and in France in 1946. It is the last work that was written during his lifetime. His plane disappeared during a military reconnaissance mission over the Mediterranean Sea in 1944.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry — The Little Prince in ceremonial dress. Illustration for Chapter I, watercolor and pencil on paper. Private Collection ©Coll. Succession Saint Exupéry – d’Agay ©Photo: MAD, Paris / Christophe Dellière. Photo courtesy MAD. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

He was born in Lyon in 1900 and the show traces his early life and his upbringing in an aristocratic family and his fascination for aviation. And takes a look at his career at Aéropostale where he worked the airmail routes in Europe, Africa and South America, flights which inspired his two first novels, Southern Mail and Night Flight. The show is running until June 26th.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette
Musée des Arts Décoratifs
107 rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris, France
+33 (0)1 42 60 64 94

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry — « One day I saw the sun set 44 times. « Illustration for Chapter VI, 1942 or 1943, watercolor and pencil on paper.Fondation Jean-Marc Probst pour Le Petit Prince©Coll. Succession Saint Exupéry – d’Agay ©Photo: Fondation JMP pour LPP. Photo courtesy MAD. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette
Antoine de Saint- Exupéry at the home of Silvia Hamilton, 1942. ©Coll. Succession Saint Exupéry – d’Agay. Photo courtesy MAD. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s