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LUDWIG BEMELMANS (1898-1962) "Miss Clavel again quite well. . ." from Madeline's Christmas.
The penultimate illustration in Madeline's Christmas, first published as a special insert in the 1956 Christmas edition of McCall's Magazine and then in its first hardcover bound edition in 1985 (New York: Viking Kestrel). Ink, watercolor, and collage 1956. Signed "Bemelmans" in lower right. 743x545 mm; 29 1/2x21 1/2 inches. Partial existing inscription and rough compositional sketch on verso in red pencil. Archivally matted and framed to 35x27 inches. Professionally restored (see condition report for details).
The iconic "flying carpet" image from Madeline's Christmas that depicts Madeline and the all the girls on magic carpets, surrounded by gifts for their families, soaring and swirling around the Eiffel Tower to the cheers of Miss Clavel, Madame Marie, and Mouse. When everyone else in the old house in Paris all covered with vines falls sick, including Miss Clavel and the other little girls in two straight lines, the smallest one named Madeline saves Christmas. The full caption reads: "And Miss Clavel again quite well, thought it time to ring her bell, which quickly broke the magic spell."
In the text, Bemelmans includes a bow to Clement C. Moore: "It was the night before Christmas, And all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, Not even the mouse . . . For like everyone else in that house which was old, The poor mouse was in bed with a miserable cold."