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FRANÇOIS LOUIS SCHMIED (1873-1941)

Genève 1873 - Tahannaout 1941

Since childhood François-Louis Schmied was attracted by drawing and by an idealized East his father who has lived in Algeria described with nostalgia. In Geneva he learned wood engraving at the School of Industrial Arts and painting at the Fine Arts. In 1895 he left Switzerland and moved to Paris, where he completed his training in the École Estienne evening classes. In 1899, Schmied and his friends from Switzerland founded the Association of Swiss artists.

In 1910, the Society of contemporary book noticed his talent and asked him to engrave 90 color illustrations of Paul Jouve for The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. Because of the war, the book will be completed only in 1918, but this work is now considered as one of the masterpieces of the twentieth century. The Society of contemporary book will order some other books like "Climates", poems of the Countess de Noailles. Dummy and originals were exhibited at Georges Petit gallery in 1921.

With Jean Dunand, Jean Goulden and Paul Jouve, from whom he was close, François-Louis Schmied participated in several exhibitions, including at the Galerie Georges Petit and at the Galerie Charpentier.

In 1922, he became editor, and then mastered all the book trade, painter, engraver, typographer, graphic designer, bookbinder and printer. He designed and made his books before editing it. His workshop enjoyed an excellent reputation. Indeed his precious books, with limited (maximum 150 copies) prints, required several years of work, up to 6 years for some items.

From 1922, he worked anonymously with Gustave Miklos, who submited projects and illustrations, drawn by his own imagination or following the instructions given by Schmied as models, drawings, gouaches, etc. This relationship remained secret for long.

His son Theo managed his whorshop in 1924, and Schmied moved permanently to Morocco in 1933.