Casanova’s Memoirs, by Casanova, Ed. Joseph Monét, illus. Vincente Minnilli (Willey Book Company, New York, 1946)
6.25″x9.25″, 290pp, mylar protected DJ with some rips and tears over red boards with gilt lettering, boards loose but holding
Giovanni Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798) was an ecclesiastic, writer, soldier, spy, and diplomatist, chiefly remembered as the prince of Italian adventurers and as the man who made the name Casanova synonymous with “libertine.” His autobiography, which perhaps exaggerates some of his escapades, is a splendid description of 18th-century society in the capitals of Europe. As far as I can tell this is the only illustration work done by Vincente Minnelli [obscure at the time but later famous director and husband of Judy Garland]. It was done soon after he moved to New York from Chicago and before he landed a steady job at Radio City Music Hall. In his autobiography he described the work as “in the Aubrey Beardsley style”.