This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Julio Mario Santo Domingo collection.
Known for the openly sexual themes in his work as well as for his battle with opium addiction, the creative polymath Jean Cocteau is a fitting author for inclusion in the Santo Domingo Collection. Maison de santé, one of the works Cocteau produced during his detoxification cures, consists of Cocteau’s line illustrations, many of them twisted self-portraits, and text reproduced from his original manuscript. This copy, one of an edition of 500 published by Editions Briant-Robert, features on its half-title page an original Cocteau pencil illustration, depicting the author at his opium pipe, and an inscription “à mon Jacques”, dated 1938. The Jacques referred to here is likely the philosopher Jacques Maritain. A devout Catholic, Maritain supported Cocteau’s recovery from opium addiction as well as his return to the church, both of which proved temporary.
Jean Cocteau. Maison de santé. Paris: Editions Briant-Robert, 1926. FC9.C6478.926m
Thanks to rare book cataloger Ryan Wheeler for contributing this post.