Francois-Louis Schmied (1873 - 1941)
Born in Switzerland, Schmied studied at the Geneva School
of Industrial Arts before moving to Paris in the early-1900's. There, he practiced as a wood engraver and made contacts with people in the book world with whom he would establish very beneficial relationships.
His adaptation of Paul Jouve's illustrations for Kipling's
"Jungle Books" brought him his first major success. He often worked with his friend, the laquerist, Jean Dunand, who created exquisite bindings, highly prized both then and now.
Schmied's collaboration with Dr. J.C. Mardrus, a translator,
include "La Creation" (1928), "Le Livre de la Verite de la Parole", (1929) and "Le Paradis Musulman", (1930).
He also worked very closely with George Barbier, with whom
he created some of the most beautiful books of the period.
These titles include, "Poemes en Prose", "Vies Imaginaires", "Chansons de Bilitis" and "Personnages de Comedie".
Independently produced books include, "Les Ballades Francais", (1927), "Les Adventures de Dernier Abencerage", (1930) and "Peau Brune", (1930).
Schmied is considered by many to be the finest wood block engravers of the Art Deco period. His attention to detail ultimately proved to be his undoing, as he faced financial ruin in the 1930's.