Besancenot-Girard Types et Costumes du Maroc
Magnificent work illustrated with sixty gouaches by Jean Besancenot-Girard, representing the traditional costumes of the various regions of Morocco.
Since it was initiated by UNESCO, the concept of World Heritage has spread, worldwide.
Even though quite well defined, it appears clearly that architecture is the most visible, known, figuratively outstanding part, mostly known by the public.
Then there are treasures remaining, if not totally unknown, usually out of reach because of their nature, size, or status, not regarded as universal.
The « Types et Costumes du Maroc by Jean Besancenot-Girard » is one of them.
Rarely has been seen, what could be named “a concept” opus, associating a rigorous scientific observation, an accurate description, and a perfectly mastered artwork.
In 1942, Jean Besancenot undertook an amazing study of the various types of Morocco’s population.
Overcoming many obstacles, he, painstakingly, patiently, studied, described, drew, and water colored the various costumes belonging to each cultural group, remained untouched and genuine for, at least, centuries.
The people of Morocco, due to the particularities of the ancient, yet live, sociology and cultures, while interfacing with the French protectorate, did not have to abandon their own patrimony, and thus, living in their own inner worlds, kept their cultures untouched.
Costume and custom share the same etymological origins and that community of sense is perfectly illustrated in Types et Costumes du Maroc’s monumental opus.
The people he meticulously described were the remnant of very old traditions and customs, therefore carrying and showing, throughout their costumes, living forms of cultures from a remote past.
Those are gone today, never to be seen again or in altered forms.
The heritage here is unique; as unique as would be photographs from the middle-ages, they hold and contain, very finely, very detailed clues on how people, not only dressed, but live, thought, believed in a world that no longer exists.
The original manuscript being kept in Rabat, in the Royal collections, and as there were only 310 copies, this number « 271 » we proudly present, is a very rare chance to access to a genuine, untouched, monument of Human patrimony.
Types et Costumes du Maroc – Les planches de gouache