Les Heures Claire
Les Heures Claires was founded in June 1945 by Jean Estrade and Jean Rivière. In 1989, Estrade and Daniel David formed SARL Lignes et Formes and purchased Les Heures Claires, working together to further develop the publishing house. Estrade was the artistic and technical director as well as the editor for all publications until his death in 2005.
Les Heures Claires focused its first publications on the best sellers of the period, publishing “Toi et Moi” by Paul Géraldy and “La Mousson” by Louise Bromfield. In 1948, the company began working with master printer Raymond Jacquet, who helped provide the excellent quality Les Heures Claires expects from all of its publications.
In 1957, Les Heures Claires established its bibliophile at 19 Rue Bonparte in Paris. The company acquired publishing house H. Piazza and continued both publishing house’s tradition of producing high quality books.
It wasn’t until 1964 that Les Heures Claires took on its most significant work ever, publishing “The Divine Comedy” with illustrations by Dalí. The project took 13 years to complete, with Dalí creating 100 watercolors based on the poem by Dante Alighieri in the 14th century. The daunting project demanded four years of work and the selection of 3,500 blocks engraved by Jacquet and Jean Taricco, all of which was supervised by Dalí. The end result was an internationally acclaimed work of illustrated art.
During the creation of this remarkable publication, Dalí formed a relationship with Estrade. From 1971 to 1978, Estrade became the editor for 67 editions of graphic works of Salvador Dalí that were printed for Dalí and Giuseppe Albaretto, who formed Les Heures Claires, Italy.
In 2001, for the 100th anniversary of Dalí’s birth, Les Heures Claires published “The Divine Comedy” as a collector’s book in six volumes.
Les Heures Claires has worked with hundreds of artists over the years and has published everything from Shakespeare and artwork by Picasso and Salvador Dalí to sacred text like the Bible and Quran. Among the honors Les Heures Claires has received are presenting published works to His Holiness Paul VI and recognition from the French government in 1974.